Charlton Manor school
Councillors are to protest at school cuts

Councillors in Greenwich are to pressure the government for more schools funding as figures show cuts of £367 per pupil since 2015.

Greenwich schools have lost an aggregate of £33m in the last four years according to town hall chiefs who are warning high needs funding is “leaving vulnerable pupils without the support they need”.

It comes following an announcement from the chancellor, Philip Hammond, last year to give schools an extra £400m for “little extras”, a move that was criticised by unions for not going far enough.

A band of Labour councillors, including the deputy leader David Gardner, plan to lobby Westminster over cuts.

A motion has been put forward for next week’s full council meeting calling for the cabinet to “join other councils and Greenwich’s MPs in opposing the government’s ongoing cuts to school budgets and call for more funding to be invested in education”.

It also says the council should “call on the government to fully fund the pay increase for teachers that is independently recommended by the School Teachers’ Review Body” and “support the coalition of trade unions campaigning against school cuts”.

Nationally, some schools have resorted to opening four days a week as they deal with stretched budgets.

The Chancellor’s announcement in November was to help schools buy “extra bits of kit” with an influx of £400m across the country.

Responding to the chancellor’s announcement, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said it wouldn’t solve the crisis.

Mr Whiteman said: “Schools and young people are most definitely much too far down the government’s list of priorities, and for schools and young people, austerity is most certainly not over.”

The motion will be debated at a meeting on Wednesday at Woolwich Town Hall.

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Tom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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