Wigan schools facing £8.5m funding cuts

Millions of pounds will have been slashed from school budgets in the borough by 2020, shocking new figures show.

Wednesday, 4th April 2018, 11:10 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th April 2018, 11:16 am
Schools across Wigan are facing huge budget cuts

Wigan’s educational establishments are believed to be facing cuts of £8.5m over a five-year period from 2015.

That equates to a funding loss of £218 per pupil in the borough and also means many schools have had to increase class sizes.

A total of 62 per cent of secondary schools in England have had to have more pupils taught together over the past two years as staff numbers have fallen by 15,000 while the number of children to be educated has gone up by 4,500.

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Mp Yvonne Fovargue

The stark data laying bare the scale of cuts the borough’s schools have had to face has been revealed by a group of trade unions working together to raise awareness of what is happening in classrooms.

Their case has now been taken up by Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue, who says the Department for Education’s decision to reduce funding has had enormous consequences.

Ms Fovargue said: “Schools have been doing all they can to shield their pupils from the damage caused by the Government’s decision to cut £2.8bn from school budgets since 2015 but this lack of investment is really starting to bite.

“Children and young people only get one chance at school and college and we know that education cuts never heal. As a country we should be investing in this and future generations of young people.

Mp Yvonne Fovargue

“I am calling on the Government to urgently address the funding crisis urgently and not continue to ignore these very real problems.”

Official data amassed by the unions shows how high schools are taking by far the biggest hits to their budgets.

In the five years between 2015 and 2020 Rose Bridge Academy in Ince, which has recently installed a new leadership team following a disastrous Ofsted inspection, faces a colossal reduction of £371,440.

Hawkley Hall High School will also have to cope with a loss of £370,603.

Elsewhere in the borough Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley will have its income reduced by £326,999 and Bedford High School in Leigh faces a shrinkage in funding of £304,087.

Primary schools including Beech Hill Community, Hindley Green Community, Ince CoE and Westfield Community all face reductions in income of more than £100,000.

Some of the most intense number crunching is being faced by Platt Bridge Community Primary School, which is tackling a massive shortfall of £165,508, and St Gabriel’s Catholic Primary

School which will have £153,252 less by 2020 than it did in 2015.

For more information visit www.schoolcuts.org.uk

l Meanwhile nearly three quarters of teachers think potential recruits are being putting off a career in teaching because of pay levels, a survey by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has found.

More than four out of five think teaching is not competitive with other professions in terms of pay.

Nearly a third have had to increase their use of credit in the last year as a result of the years of cuts to their salaries.

And 33 per cent have had to delay essential household repairs and nearly one in 10 has had to take a second job on top of their highly demanding teaching responsibilities.