Proposals will mean 357 fewer teachers in Northumberland by 2019, says NUT

Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the NUT.
Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the NUT.

There will be more than 350 fewer teachers in Northumberland’s schools by 2019, it was claimed this week.

According to data collated by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers & Lecturers (ATL), Northumberland’s schools face a funding cut worth £13.3million.

This will mean £343 less is spent for every pupil at a state school over the year.

The figures relate to the proposed National Funding Formula which has been put forward by the Government.

The NUT says that the Government’s ‘refusal to allocate additional money to schools’ means that while some will gain from the changes, many schools will lose substantial amounts.

The NUT and ATL claim that 98 per cent of schools across the country will lose out under the changes, leaving them with increased class sizes, loss of staff and cuts to extra-curricular activities and resources.

Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the NUT, said: “Every single MP in England has reason to be worried about our latest analysis which shows how every constituency will be adversely affected by the Government’s recently-announced funding proposals.

“Budgets have been cut to the bone and decisions such as increasing class sizes and losing staff have already been made.

“To avert this national scandal, the Government must reassess its plans and make substantial new funding an urgent priority so that all schools have sufficient money to run an effective education system.”

However, the Department for Education disputes the figures released this week and claims that more than half of England’s schools will receive a cash boost. A spokesman said:“These figures are fundamentally misleading. School funding is at its highest level on record and will be more than £40billion in 2016/17.

“They have completely ignored the fact that as pupil numbers rise so will the amount of money schools receive.”

“To suggest that we are taking money out of the system is simply incorrect.”

The spokesman added: “What the unions are doing is blurring two separate debates – the total level of funding for schools and the distribution of that funding.

“We have set out proposals to end the historic postcode lottery in school funding. Under the proposed national schools funding formula, more than half of England’s schools will receive a cash boost in 2018/19.

“This will help to create a system that funds schools according to the needs of their pupils rather than where they live – disparities in the current school funding system mean a school could get 50 per cent more if it were situated in another part of the country.

“We have also announced further investment of £190million to provide more support to underperforming schools and ensure the number of good school places continues to rise.

“However, we recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to provide advice and support to help them use their funding in cost-effective ways, including improving the way they buy goods and services, so‎ they get the best possible value for their pupils.”

The consultation on the proposed funding measures will run until March 22.