Halifax Labour MP calls for Government to invest in 'underfunding' Calderdale schools

Halifax Labour MP Holly Lynch
Halifax Labour MP Holly Lynch

Halifax Labour MP Holly Lynch has voiced concerns for the "underfunding" of Calderdale schools.

MP Lynch has said it is "clear teachers and parents in Calderdale are really fed up with the underfunding of our schools".

The underfunding comes after news £37.4m has been cut from the Calderdale schools budget since 2015, which has had "damning impact on children’s education", according to the Halifax Labour MP.

She said: "Over the past decade, school spending per pupil in the UK has fallen by about 8% in real terms – the largest decline since at least the 1970s, according to a recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

"You may have spotted some of the many banners that went up outside many local schools last week to highlight the government’s awful record on education spending.

"I used a recent Parliamentary debate on public services to do the same.

"This followed the appearance of a Halifax headteacher in the national media explaining how rising poverty and funding cuts were pushing schools to breaking point.

"Dani Worthington at Moorside School told of how teachers now have to act as social workers, police officers, mental health workers and provide support for families – all while also trying to teach."

Unicef recently reported 1.8 million school-age children in the UK are at risk of hunger in the morning.

"Aside from the detrimental impact this has on their health, it means they are not in the right frame of mind for learning," said Ms Lynch.

"Many teachers report having to dip into their own pockets to provide some of the basic supplies that their school needs.

"Most schools have had to look at laying off staff to cut their costs, with some even reducing their opening hours.

"Investing in our children and their education is the safest investment a government can make, yet 76 of 95 schools in Calderdale will still be worse off next year despite Boris Johnson’s promise of extra money.

"The Conservatives claim a record £14 billion is going into our schools.

"Once you account for inflation, the increase between 2019/20 and 2022/23 is just £4.3bn, which is simply not enough to even start to overcome the damage done to school budgets.

"Even if all the money promised is forthcoming by 2023 it will only return schools to the level of funding they had in 2010 – and schools now have to pay for many additional services they did not have to pay for a decade ago.

"Due to austerity, the council’s budget has shrunk by over £100m, meaning services it once provided to schools for free are now either charged for or are no longer offered at all.

"The problems are particularly stark for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities.

"The new SEND money announced will only fill the black hole that already exists, as most local authorities are already overspending in this area due to underfunding.

"Although our council and CCG are doing some great work for SEND pupils – as evidenced by their recent Ofsted inspection – the truth is they simply do not have enough money to fully assist all of our SEND children.

"I've invited Dani Worthington to speak in Westminster tomorrow at an all-party event on children’s mental health and I'll be incredibly proud to showcase the standard of teaching we have in Halifax.

"However, I simply wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t calling on this Government to invest in Calderdale’s children and restore school budgets before they let down an entire generation."