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Farron to press schools minister over massive cuts

March 14, 2017 3:16 PM

W&L school cutsSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has arranged a meeting with the Schools Minister and other Cumbrian MPs to highlight the funding crisis that local schools are facing. Yesterday, a leading teaching union gave evidence in parliament expressing concern that the government was diverting extra funds towards new free schools while leaving existing schools to face vast cuts.

The National Association of Head Teachers estimates that schools across Cumbria face a cut of £23million by 2020. This is the equivalent of 625 teachers being cut. However, in the recent budget, the Chancellor failed to address this funding shortfall, giving money only for new free schools. Giving evidence yesterday in parliament, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers criticised the government for diverting funds to create new free schools "despite a glaring lack of evidence".

Tim has arranged a meeting with the Schools Minister Nick Gibb MP, to highlight this problem. He will also be joined at the meeting by fellow Cumbrian MPs John Woodcock, John Stevenson, Sue Hayman and Rory Stewart, as well as a representative from the Cumbrian branch of the National Association of Head Teachers.

Tim said: "Education cuts on this scale are a massive threat to the life chances of our children and young people. Yet despite the vast funding shortfall that is faced, the government has instead chosen to divert more than £300million to build more free schools. This means extra cash for an ideologically-driven pet project, while existing schools struggle with massive cuts.

"I look forward to meeting the Minister along with Cumbrian colleagues from all parties. I will be highlighting the plight of schools across Cumbria, particularly smaller ones in rural areas, and the disastrous impact these cuts would have. For the sake of the next generation, the government must rethink these cuts."

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Tim Farron MP meeting with a NUT representative to discuss school cuts last week.