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Labour warns of cash crisis facing Ipswich schools as cuts dig deep

PUBLISHED: 15:28 25 April 2018

Labour education spokesman Jack Abbott. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Labour education spokesman Jack Abbott. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Archant

Schools in Ipswich are among the most under-funded in Suffolk according to new figures obtained by a union-sponsored website.

Suffolk County Councillor Gordon Jones. Picture: JAMES FLETCHERSuffolk County Councillor Gordon Jones. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER

Budget cuts have left both primary and secondary schools struggling to make ends meet in the county according to the website schoolcuts.org.uk

This is run by the National Education Union – formed by the merger of the NUT and ATL unions – and Suffolk County Council Labour education spokesman Jack Abbott said it showed the under-funding was affecting schools in the most deprived areas the worst.

According to the website Ipswich is facing average reductions of £180 per pupil with cuts of more than £3million from schools’ budgets across the town.

Chantry Academy and Ipswich Academy are facing the biggest budget losses in Suffolk – more than £300,000 each – while eight out of the top 10 worst affected primary schools in the county are also based in Ipswich.

Chantry Academy. Picture: GREGG BROWNChantry Academy. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Mr Abbott called on the Conservative-led county council, as well as Suffolk’s MPs, to do more in demanding that schools in Ipswich and Suffolk are given an improved funding package.

He said: “The Conservative government will say that they have increased funding for education, but this is not enough to cover a reduction in per pupil funding and inflationary pressures.

“It is time that our MPs and the Tories running Suffolk County Council stood up to their government to demand proper funding for our schools. Suffolk desperately needs a better deal.”

According to the School Cuts website, Suffolk schools could be hit with a £7.8 million funding decrease by 2020, with 193 out of the county’s 276 schools facing cuts.

Suffolk’s cabinet member for education Gordon Jones said the council continued to pressure the government to improve schools funding. He is a member of the executive of the F40 group – representing the 40 local education authorities with the lowest schools budgets.

He said: “As a group we are constantly pressing the government for fairer funding for our schools.

“Before 2010 the gap between the better-funded local authorities and the worst was growing. Under the coalition and current government that gap is now getting reducing.”


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