Has your child brought a letter home from school asking you for donations to help buy classroom supplies? Have you seen subjects cut from the curriculum, or support for pupils with special educational needs stretched further and further?
If so, you might be as sceptical as I am about the claim that our schools are receiving “more money than ever before”.
On Monday 29 January during Education questions, I asked the new Secretary of State to stop focusing on structures in education and address the crisis in funding schools are facing.
This weekend even Tory party donors and heads of academy chains warned that schools were facing real-terms cuts to their funding as costs continue to increase. And schools in Bristol West have repeatedly told me that they are being asked to deliver more and more with less money coming in. That has a clear impact on what subjects they are able to offer, what training and support they can provide to staff, and what programmes they can put in place to help pupils who need assistance to get the most out of their education.
I’m pleased that the Times Education Supplement picked up on my question. I’m going to continue speaking out against the government’s rhetoric of increased funding. Bristol’s schools tell me that in real terms, the amount of money they receive per pupil is going down, not up. Hardworking students and staff deserve a properly funded education system and the government must do more.
All the focus on structures is taking us away from the real issue, which is that this weekend even Tory party donors and academy chain heads were talking about real-terms cuts to funding. That is what I am seeing in the schools in my constituency. Will the Government face up to the real crisis, which is the real-terms cut in school funding?
Damian Hinds (Secretary of State for Education)
There is more money going into our schools in this country than ever before. We know that real-terms funding per pupil is increasing across the system, and with the national funding formula, each school will see at least a small cash increase.
You can watch the full exchange here: