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Existing schools starved of cash as government prioritises free school experiment

April 26, 2017 3:56 PM

South Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has backed a report, published today, which slams the government's school funding policy. He has accused the government of pursuing an ideologically-driven agenda to promote new free schools while cuts mean Cumbria faces the loss of over 600 teachers by 2020.

The cross-party parliamentary report blasts the government's agenda as "incoherent" and "too often poor value for money", and criticises the decision to prioritise the building of 500 new free schools while existing schools are in poor condition. It argues that "there is a tension between setting up new free schools and

supporting existing schools", adding that the focus on free schools is not the best use of limited funds.

Tim said: "Here in Cumbria our schools are being starved of cash in order to fund the Conservative's ideologically-driven free school experiment. Existing schools are crying out for funds while the government focuses on opening 500 new free schools.

"Schools across Cumbria face £23million of cuts by 2020. This would see 625 teachers cut, and would do untold damage to the education and life chances of our children.

"The government must reconsider its priorities and ensure our local schools are properly funded. It is letting down pupils, parents and teachers."