Are Essex schools facing a £40 million funding decrease in the next two years?
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Essex schools are set to be hit with an £40million funding decrease over the next two years, according to latest estimates from education unions.
The website School Cuts, launched by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), has compiled estimated figures for each school on how much its funding will be reduced, based on school block funding allocations for 2015/16 and inflation estimates until 2020.
The data revealed that across Essex, 470 of 517 schools could face cuts with an estimated £40.8million loss by 2020.
The figures suggest Bradfield Primary School would be the hardest hit, facing a per pupil cut of £1,039.
The other worst affected schools in the county are listed as Clacton Coastal Academy – funding for which teaching unions said would reduce by £942 per pupil.
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Great Tey Primary School could see a reduction of £854 per pupil while Maltings Academy in Witham will have an estimated funding setback of approximately £765 per pupil.
Essex NUT general secretary Jerry Glazier said: “Under this Government’s funding policies, there are no winners, only losers.
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“Essex schools are being forced to make difficult and damaging decisions that no headteacher should have to make.
“These include reducing school staff and teachers, increasing class sizes, and reducing the range of subjects offered simply to balance the book.
“This is an unacceptable state of affairs – the NUT and ATL will continue campaigning for additional funding, to protect schools and our children’s education.”
Cuts over the last few years have already left some schools making swathes of reductions in arts subjects, which are not weighted as heavily as academic subjects under Government criteria.
However, the Department of Education dispute the figures – with bosses suggesting Essex would actually see a 4.7% increase of funding over the next two years.
Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said: “The unions’ figures are fundamentally misleading.
“They are based on historical data and do not reflect the situation in our schools today.
“They also ignore the fact that schools funding is driven by pupil numbers and, as pupil numbers rise, the amount of money schools receive will also increase.”