Blackpool pupils to lose £107 each in school cuts

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden

A resort headteacher took his fight for extra school funding to Parliament – while Labour claimed cuts in Blackpool equal £107 per pupil, and could cost 40 teachers their jobs.

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Andy Mellor, from St Nicholas Primary School in Marton, travelled to London ahead of the chancellors latest Budget next month, and said: “We have had four years of cuts to our budgets.

“We have cut all but essential services and if no more funding is found, we and other schools will have to take drastic measures to meet what is a shortfall of £300,000 by 2020/21.

We just want the ability to be able to do our jobs in providing the very best education we can for our children in Blackpool.”

Mr Mellor, who is also vice-president of the National Association of Headteachers, has had to axe staff in a bid to save cash from his own budget, and has previously warned that schools will ‘struggle to survive’.

And Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “What Andy and teachers across Blackpool are now worrying about, and I as a shadow education minister am acutely aware of this crisis across England, is the continued failure of Theresa May’s government to fill the hole created in school budgets created since April 2015.

“Real terms funding per pupils has fallen and the independent National Audit Office estimated that will represent an eight per cent but 2020.

“What that represents here in Blackpool, as the campaign figures show, is a total loss over all our schools of £1.8 million by that time; a loss of £107 per pupil and potentially 40 teachers going as well.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “These figures are fundamentally misleading.

They are based on historical data and do not reflect the situation in our schools today.

“They also ignore the fact that schools funding is driven by pupil numbers and, as pupil numbers rise, the amount of money schools receive will also increase.”