During a recent fiery debate in the House of Commons, Judith condemned proposed Central Government’ reforms to the funding mechanism for the district’s schools. Many MPs from across the political spectrum expressed alarm that reforms to the so-called National School Funding Formula are destined to inflict sharp funding cuts to England’s already hard-pressed schools. Analysis of these changes reveal that 89% of Bradford’s primary schools, secondary schools, and academies are faced with cuts to their budgets. Most worryingly, funding for early years provision in Bradford is predicted to be cut by £2.4m or -6.2%.
During the debate, Judith stressed that what above all else matters for our schools is fair and decent funding. Judith said “No matter where our children are educated, whether in an academy, a free school, a grammar school, the foundation stone of each and every educational institution, is a regime of fair long term funding. Without sufficient long-term funding, motivated teaching staff, educational programmes and materials, all key to successful a classroom environment, become increasingly difficult to provide.”
Judith set out the broader financial backdrop by highlighting that schools across Bradford were already faced with real terms funding cuts during the course of this Parliamentary term. An independent body, The Institute for Fiscal Studies, forecast that funding in schools will fall by 7% per pupil by 2020.
In concluding her remarks Judith said “ These reforms promise a bleak future for the schools of Bradford… A perfect storm, which will damage Bradford’s education system, and harm the life chances of our children.”