Schools in Wandsworth schools are facing cuts of £7.7m by 2020/21, according to figures recently released by the National Education Union (NEU).
According to Cllr Jeremy Ambache, Labour’s Speaker on education, “action by parents to oppose schools cuts have forced the government to U-turn on their proposed funding cuts, but their revised proposals would still cost schools in Wandsworth the equivalent of over 150 teachers across the borough. We can credit parent power for forcing this change but would encourage parents to keep the pressure up and the Council to stand alongside them”.
Cllr Ambache points to several schools in the borough that are already having to lose teachers, combine subject areas, reduce the provision of arts subjects, cut afterschool provisions and ask parents for increased contributions, in order to save money. These include a secondary school which is not replacing 10 teachers and 5 teaching assistants, a primary school which is not replacing 4 teachers and another primary school which has cut the hours it pays its teaching assistants.
Cllr Ambache said: “schools in Wandsworth are facing a double whammy; they are being forced to meet unfunded extra costs to pay for pensions, national insurance, business rates, apprenticeship levy and the national minimum wage and from next year they are facing budget cuts as part of the Government’s so called fairer-funding formula”. He added: “of course the impact of these cuts is greater for the least well off pupils whose parents are not able to pay for their children to participate in arts and sport outside school”.
Cllr Ambache concluded: “Given that the Secretary of State for Education is herself a Wandsworth MP, this Council is ideally-placed to lobby the government to rethink their funding cut proposals for schools, as other Conservative Councils have done. We are told that conversations are taking place behind closed doors but given the enormity of the funding cuts faced by Wandsworth Schools, it is time that this Council publically put the education of our children at the top of their political agenda and stood up for teachers, parents and children in this borough by demanding a Government rethink. Tonight in Full Council I will be asking Wandsworth Council to do just that.”
The Labour Group’s Motion for this evening’s debate on opposing education cuts to the borough’s schools is here: https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/documents/s52762/Fair%20funding%20for%20schools.pdf
If you have personal experience of cuts to schools in your area of Wandsworth, please get in touch with Jeremy Ambache directly (and in confidence, if necessary). firstname.lastname@example.org