Hampshire union criticises funding cuts to schools

CONCERNS have been raised about cuts to schools despite reassurances being made by the government.

Saturday, 20th May 2017, 7:37 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:35 pm

The Hampshire and Portsmouth branch of the National Union for Teachers claims funding cuts will see the county lose £63m for schools by 2019/20 compared to 2015/16.

As previously reported in The News, a new funding formula is being proposed and while some schools will see an increase in cash, others will lose tens of thousands of pounds.

And the union says it will lead to 200 teachers losing their jobs in Portsmouth and 1,400 more county-wide, excluding Southampton.

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The NUT has criticised the government and is sceptical on future funding, despite the Tory general election manifesto released this week saying school budgets will be protected.

NUT divisional secretary Jacky Benard said: ‘Under this government’s funding policies, there are no winners, only losers.

‘Hampshire schools are being forced to make decisions that no headteacher should have to make, including reducing school staff and teachers, increasing class sizes, and reducing the range of subjects offered simply to balance the books.’

When the new funding formula was first put forward, headteachers across the area condemned the move.

They said staff could be made redundant and they would also struggle to pay for new equipment and school trips.

But Tory parliamentary candidate for Havant Alan Mak, who bought schools minister Nick Gibb to the area earlier this year, said: ‘I’ve been working hard over the last two years to ensure that schools in Havant do not lose out as the funding formula is finalised.

‘I am glad the prime minister has listened and will ensure no local school will lose out under any new formula.

‘In fact, schools nationally will see a real-terms increase in funding for every year of the Parliament and that’s great news for our area.’