08 March 2017

Councillors criticise "disastrous" cuts that could see local schools lose eight teachers

Vassall councillors have criticised planned government cuts to local schools which could see eight teachers axed and more than £300,000 removed from the area's education budget.

The cuts are the result of changes to the way that school funding is allocated across the country, a plan that has drawn widespread criticism from teachers, parents and councils because it results in deep spending reductions in many areas.

Lambeth, despite its high levels of deprivation and expanding demand for school places, will see its budget reduced by £24 million by 2019. In the Vassall area, it is estimated that this could result in:

Other schools in the area, such as Durrand Academy and St Gabriel's College will also see projected falls in their funding.

Lambeth Labour has been campaigning against these education changes, and last year won a significant victory with other councils by delaying the introduction of this formulae and stopping the forced removal of local control over how schools are run. But the government now wishes to press ahead with these reforms, despite Lambeth Labour's lead on education Cllr Claire Holland warning that they "put the future of our children" at risk.

Local councillors - Paul Gadsby, Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer - said:

"There have been real steps forward in our education system in the last twenty years, partly down to central funding from the last Labour government and the hardwork of teachers, parents, pupils and Labour councils. We have gone from one of the worst performing areas to one of the best - but this is being put at risk by these ridiculous cuts that will hit Lambeth and Vassall particularly hard. In an area with high deprivation it is shameful that we are facing a possible cut of £300,000 to local school budgets which means less teachers and resources for our children.

"We are urging the government to think again and would ask everyone in Vassall to sign our petition against these funding cuts - we have to get Ministers to think again before these damaging proposals reverse decades of good work."

A special meeting will also be held in Lambeth on 15 March bringing together local campaigners. This is open to the public, with no RSVP neccessary.