Petition and judicial review put pressure on DfE to rethink funding cuts

Petition and judicial review put pressure on DfE to rethink funding cuts

An e-petition, started by a group of teachers, which challenges school funding cuts, has been debated by MPs.

The petition was started last year by teachers in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear who highlighted how Government cuts had impacted on staffing, the teaching of subjects and other core activities.

Earlier this year, a report by the Education Policy Institute said that almost a third of local authority secondary schools in England were unable to cover their costs.

It also revealed that the number of schools with budgets in the red had increased four-fold in the past four years, with the average local authority secondary school debt standing at £483,000.

In an attempt to keep pressure on the Government to address under-funding in schools, the e-petition, which attracted more than 100,000 signatures of support, stated: “Schools are having to make difficult choices on how to spend their limited funding as their income has not kept pace with the rise in costs since 2010.

“All schools are working very hard to ‘make ends meet’ but this is becoming increasingly difficult and verging on almost impossible.”

The petition went on to state that schools have had to cut back on a teaching and non-teaching staff, support for vulnerable pupils, teaching resources, extra-curricular activities and subject choices in secondary schools.

Responding to the petition, the Department for Education said: “We recognise schools are facing budgeting challenges and we are asking them to do more.

“We have increased funding by an extra £1.3bn across this year and next, over and above previous spending plans.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the school leaders’ union, NAHT, said: “School funding is becoming a cross-party issue and it’s encouraging to see so much parliamentary time being dedicated to it.

“This must give the Treasury pause for thought, at least. Unfortunately, up until now, they have remained silent.

“This isn’t a position that they can stick to any longer when you consider how many people have signed this petition – 100,000 people can’t be wrong.”

In a separate wrangle over spending cuts, there are plans to take the Government to the High Court over its cuts to special educational needs funding.

Families representing pupils with SEND crowdfunded to mount a legal challenge against Education Secretary. Damian Hinds, and Chancellor. Philip Hammond. over SEND budget cuts.

Now, a judge has ruled in favour of the parents in a landmark judicial review and has ordered a full High Court hearing, which will be held on 26 and 27 June.

The hearing will seek to determine whether the current level of funding for SEND is lawful.

If found to be acting unlawfully, the DfE would be forced to rethink its approach to SEND funding.

Contact Haslers Chartered Accountants to find out more.

Petition and judicial review put pressure on DfE to rethink funding cuts

Petition and judicial review put pressure on DfE to rethink funding cuts
Petition and judicial review put pressure on DfE to rethink funding cuts

Petition and judicial review put pressure on DfE to rethink funding cuts