St Albans MP supports Fair Funding For All Schools but rules out tax increases

Fair Funding For All Schools St Albans meeting.

Fair Funding For All Schools St Albans meeting. - Credit: Archant

St Albans’ MP has backed giving greater funding to schools, but does not want it to come from tax rises.

Anne Main attended a Fair Funding For All Schools St Albans meeting at the Sandpit Theatre on Monday, September 17 and spoke on a panel with Sandringham School head Alan Gray and Bernards Heath Junior School head Sian Kilpatrick.

Organiser Diane Secker told the meeting: “When ‘outstanding’ local heads say they cannot sustain themselves financially, it’s natural for parents to be concerned.

“School standards are extremely high both academically and pastorally in St Albans and we want to keep it that way. We’re speaking out as parents, for our children’s sake, but also because we know heads can’t, lest it make their situation worse.”

Mrs Kilpatrick added: “I don’t run the school how I would like to, but how I can afford to. The impact this school funding crisis is having on your children is significant and we are facing a vastly reduced capacity to ensure all children’s needs are met.”

Mr Gray said: “Unless the government takes education seriously, and understands the fundamental value it has in improving the life chances of our young people and supporting prosperity in the future, we will be guilty of failing generations of children.”

Mrs Main said after the meeting: “We have this unsustainable strain on schools because we are not spending our money appropriately.

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“I want to make it clear I am not advocating to raise taxes. I think we need to look very carefully at what we spend and see if it could be better spent within the education budget.

“I am disappointed at the unfair allocation of funding for special education needs. I had visited a school earlier that day where they made the case that extra funds for children are distributed like the lottery. This cannot remain the case. As a former teacher, I have a lot of sympathy as our schools and teachers do an excellent job, but that does not mean that there are not very real pressures on our education system.

“I will be making the case in Parliament and I will endeavour to host a debate or raise these points during the Budget speeches this autumn. I will certainly bring this to the attention of the schools minister.

“We cannot and must not ignore the problems. This is a country-wide issue and I will be debating the matter. I have given my word.”