This week I have contacted the Chancellor of the Exchequer to highlight my serious concerns over school funding in Sunderland.
The stark reality of the situation we face in the city was brought home to me recently when I met a local headteacher, who told me how teachers are not being replaced due to lack of funding.
This school is not unique. I understand that most schools in the Sunderland Central constituency are facing swingeing cuts to their budgets which are going to be pushed beyond breaking point.
The Chancellor’s Autumn budget is an opportunity to address this.
See the letter below:
The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Correspondence & Enquiry Unit
1 Horse Guards Road
I am writing to you to highlight serious concerns I have about school funding. The stark reality of the situation we face in Sunderland was brought home to me when I recently met with a head teacher of a school in my constituency. The head teacher told me that at her school, one higher level teaching assistant left and was not replaced in order to save her £23000 salary. The school currently has two teachers on maternity leave who have not been replaced. Another is to go on maternity leave and also isn't being replaced. I understand that the school currently has three outstanding students on placement there but are not able to offer any of them a permanent position due solely to their current financial position. This means that we are losing new graduates who cannot get jobs in their chosen profession.
This particular school has an excellent reputation in the community and has always been prudent with its finances. However, for the financial year 2019/20 they have a projected budget deficit of £90,321 . They have reserves of approximately £100,000 which will offset this deficit for that year. However, they have a projected underspend for 20-21 of £162134.5.
This school is not unique. I understand that most schools in the Sunderland Central constituency are facing swingeing cuts to their budgets which are going to be pushed beyond breaking point. Your Autumn budget is an opportunity to address this. I would be grateful to know your plans.
Julie Elliott MP
Member of Parliament for Sunderland Central