St Albans MP campaigns for additional school funding
PUBLISHED: 15:22 26 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:22 26 April 2019
St Albans MP Anne Main led a debate in Parliament as part of an ongoing campaign for additional government funding for schools and teachers.
The debate was held yesterday to raise awareness of the pressures faced by schools both nationally and in St Albans.
Mrs Main said: “The pressures facing schools are widely known across the House and in the Department for Education. I am asking for a financial settlement to reflect the extra strain on the budget, and a funding formula that delivers for all our schools.”
More than 30 MPs spoke during the debate, and time limits had to be imposed on speeches to allow everyone to have their say.
During her speech, Mrs Main spoke about funding pressures on schools and headteachers in St Albans, and the mounting workload staff are having to take on.
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She also talked about the impact budget restraints are having on children with special educational needs and the additional services schools now perform that were previously provided by other public agencies, including health and local authorities.
She said: “I first held a debate on this issue in October 2018 in Westminster Hall. The concerns expressed then about the level of school funding were consistent.
“Hopes were high that the minister would be in listening mode and that the chancellor would open his wallet to find some extra funds.
“I could simply dust off my October speech, because I know from the feedback I have heard nationally and locally that nothing has significantly changed.”
Financial pressures faced by schools include additional money being directed towards building maintenance, staff insurance costs and the inability to plan school finances long-term.
In his response, schools minister Nick Gibb said: “I listened carefully to the excellent opening speech by Anne Main, who has raised the issue of school funding, both for her constituency's schools and nationally, on many occasions, including in Westminster Hall debates recently and again today. I am sure that the Treasury will also have heard what she had to say today.
“The Secretary of State and I are working hard to prepare our spending review bid for when that process starts later in the year.”