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Crisis in school funding hitting East End worst as unions warn Chancellor to reverse cuts

PUBLISHED: 14:12 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 19:17 17 November 2016

Tower Hamlets primary schools like this one in Bethnal Green facing cuts of £1,000 a pupil

Tower Hamlets primary schools like this one in Bethnal Green facing cuts of £1,000 a pupil

Archant

Teachers unions are today calling on the Government to reverse its policy for cutting school funding before next Wednesday's Autumn Statement by the Chancellor.

Tower Hamlets secondary schools like this one in Bow facing £975 cuts for each pupilTower Hamlets secondary schools like this one in Bow facing £975 cuts for each pupil

Schools in the deprived East End of London are among the worst hit, according to a list of the 100 MPs around the country whose constituencies are likely to face the most severe cuts.

The hit list shows Rushnara Ali’s Bethnal Green & Bow constituency set to lose £1,000 funding for each pupil, seventh in the nationwide ratings, and neighbouring Jim Fitzpatrick’s seat losing £975, listed ninth.

Pupils in Margaret Hillier’s Hackney South & Shoreditch division are predicted to lose even more, £1,078, and are second on the table.

Nearly 90 per cent of the 100 worst-hit constituencies have Labour MPs at Westminster, according to the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

“Budgets have already been cut to the bone—so there’s no room to manoeuvre,” The NUT’s General Secretary Kevin Courtney pointed out.

“All the sacrifices and compromises have been made. The Chancellor needs to heed the warning that schools cannot continue to give the education children and parents expect unless more funds are given—schools simply cannot take another blow to already-precarious finances.”

Worse is to come if the Government intends to shift only the “already inadequate” overall school funding around the country, with “catastrophic results”, the unions warn.

The ATL’s Mary Bousted urged: “The Government should do the right thing and fund schools adequately to put a teacher in front of every class. Virtually all schools would be worse off and it would hit the poorest children hardest.”

The unions predict the average “real term” loss for primary schools by 2020 would be more than £96,000, or £400 for each child, and for secondary schools £290,000, or £365 per pupil.

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