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Colchester MP supports schools worried about a mounting cash crisis

PUBLISHED: 16:00 05 March 2019

Colchester MP Will Quince with Jan Blackwell after the meeting. Picture; NORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL

Colchester MP Will Quince with Jan Blackwell after the meeting. Picture; NORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL

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Staff and governors from primary schools across Colchester have met the town's MP Will Quince to tell him about the impact a funding crisis is having on the town's most vulnerable children.

Will Quince also presented certificates to children at North Primary School. Picture; NORTH PRIMARY SCHOOLWill Quince also presented certificates to children at North Primary School. Picture; NORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL

Mr Quince adjusted his diary at short notice to attend a meeting arranged by governors from North Primary School and Nursery during a week of action by the National Governors Association to raise awareness of the shortfall in schools funding which is already seeing schools lose valuable staff.

Teachers and governors from North, St Michael’s, Kendall, Lexden, Gosbecks and Old Heath Primary schools took part in the discussion with Mr Quince, who promised to help them with their campaign to increase schools’ funding.

Other schools wanted to attend the meeting but were unable to send representatives.

Jan Blackwell, Chair of Governors at North Primary, said: “The story was the same from all of the schools. We’re losing staff and can’t replace them, and it’s affecting our most vulnerable children worst of all.

“We’re all struggling to balance our budgets. The Government says it has increased spending in education, but always fails to mention that school staffing costs including pension and national insurance contributions have gone up by far, far more.

“We’re seriously worried about the future. We’ve had enough and we’ve all vowed to take urgent action to demand more funding from the Government.

“We’re very grateful to Mr Quince for his support and useful advice.”

Mr Quince, who spoke in favour of increases to schools funding in an education debate in Parliament last week, agreed to help schools in Colchester petition the Government. He has agreed to draft a petition and has urged governors to get as many signatures as possible from parents in order to raise awareness of the issue, locally and nationally.

He has also pledged while to rally support among MPs from all parties to lobby for increased funding for education in the Comprehensive Spending Review, especially now that the Chancellor has an extra 17 billion to spend.

Along with other MPs he said he would to push for schools to be informed of their budgets for at least three years in advance rather than the present situation which is only a few months’ notice for the forthcoming year.

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