28th Oct, 2016

Row over school funding for area

Evesham Editorial 20th Feb, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A CANDIDATE to be Pershore’s next MP has branded Harriett Baldwin a ‘failure’ in the fight for more money for the town’s schools.

Former headteacher Dennis Wharton, the Liberal Democrat candidate for West Worcestershire, slammed Mrs Baldwin and claimed she ‘had done little to resolve this important issue’.

But Mrs Baldwin hit back at the claims and said she had worked hard alongside fellow county MPs for the past five years for a fairer funding deal for local schools.

Mr Wharton said it was unacceptable West Worcestershire schools were underfunded compared with the majority of other constituencies around the UK.

“Harriet Baldwin, elected in 2010, has since done little to resolve this important issue, and has, therefore, failed.

“Schools in the West Worcestershire constituency remain to be one of the poorest funded schools in the country. This is not acceptable.”

“School budgets face massive cuts if the Conservatives win this year’s general election.

“They have set out new plans to cut public spending ‘faster and deeper’ in order to fund tax cuts for those on much higher incomes. This will mean drastic cuts to education spending.

“As a previous headteacher I know only too well how difficult it is to deliver high standards of education for its pupils on a very tight budget.

“Schools are already strapped for cash and struggling to make ends meet, and getting less than schools in other constituencies around the country is just making matters worse.

“What is required is a “fairer funding formulae” and we have already started to campaign for this.” he added.

In response, Mrs Baldwin pointed to her recent meeting with concerned local headteachers which prompted her to write to

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to raise the issue.

“I have actively worked in Parliament for the last five years to try and secure a better funding deal for our local schools and we have made some steps towards sorting this problem with a £4.9 million additional pot.

“Each school has already taken steps to make the best of their budgets but they still get a much poorer settlement each year compared to similar sized schools in Birmingham.

“I am pleased that the Prime Minister confirmed that a future Conservative Government would protect the schools’ budget.” she added.