19th Nov, 2017

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: More concern over funding for Solihull schools

LETTERS in this week’s Solihull Observer

In response to Cllr. Ken Meeson’s letter in last week’s Solihull Observer we would like to clarify a few points:

Fair Funding for Solihull Schools is a parent-led, campaign group which is part of the larger, national campaign, Fair Funding for All Schools. We are a party-neutral group, and have consistently looked for cross-party support for our work. We have asked to work with the F40 group and have had productive meetings with both local MPs, Julian Knight and Caroline Spelman. We have not dismissed any proposals on funding and we remain keen to collaborate with our local representatives.

As a local group, we are deeply concerned about the situation for Solihull schools but we also recognise that School Funding is a national problem, and, as such, we stand alongside parents across England calling for fair and adequate funding for every school.

We have publicly welcomed the additional funding promised to schools however, we know that this is not enough. The facts have been established by the Institute for Fiscal Studies: when inflation and rising pupil numbers are taken into account, schools will continue to face real-term cuts to their funding. Nationally, the overall budget for schools is not enough – redistributing funds from an insufficient pot of money doesn’t solve the problem. We want to see more funding allocated to all schools, from nurseries right the way through to 6th form colleges.

We have listened to teachers and seen what is happening in local schools. As parents,we want better for all our children. We would urge all local parents to visit the School Cuts website (schoolcuts.org) to see for themselves how our local schools will be impacted by the real-term cuts to school funding. Parents can join our campaign for FAIR and ADEQUATE funding of Solihull schools by visiting our Facebook page and Twitter @FairSolihull.

Lisa Evans, Claire Melia and Jeni Mills

FAIR FUNDING FOR SOLIHULL SCHOOLS

Solihull’s education chief Ken Meeson said in last week’s Observer that Solihull schools should focus on taking more money from other urban schools.

I find this attitude distasteful. I have friends, and relatives whose children attend schools in other urban areas.

Very few people would oppose having a fair system for allocating funding to schools across the country? However, our success as a nation depends on how well we educate all our children.

So, what is motivating our local Tory MP’s and Councillors to focus entirely on taking money from other urban schools. Is it because they are putting their own party interests before the educational needs of Britain’s children? Is that why they are unwilling to place any blame on the government’s failure over the last seven years to provide adequate funding for all our schools?

Phil Beyer Solihull

I was disappointed to read Councillor Meeson’s letter last week on the topic of the Daylesford and Chapel Fields amalgamation. He makes comments about the consultation process not being contested by any party. To clarify, this is NOT what those affiliated with the schools would have wanted. We welcome being consulted on the plans – we just want to know what those plans are.

To date to our knowledge the schools may or may not amalgamate, they may or may not have a new building, or they may or may not have classrooms added to the current sites. They may or may not lose staff, the council aren’t sure. They may or may not lose £173,000 per annum of funding after a period of two years if they merger. The council doesn’t know yet. One of the sites could be sold to housing developers, which one? Don’t know.

How are we expected to give our opinion on the plan, when we don’t know what it is?

This, Cllr. Meeson, is why we are asking for clarity and why it isn’t just Cllr Adeyemo who is referring to this as a “half-baked” plan.

Laura McCarthy

 

Education Matters Part 4

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