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Conservative maths bungle


Simon Lightwood, Labour Member of Parliament for Wakefield, today lambasted the “the Conservatives’ staggering mathematical incompetence” which will see schools in Wakefield lose £2.5m next year.


The Department for Education last month admitted to miscalculating the amounts of funding due to be granted to state schools in England next year, copping to a £370m error in the information they gave schools in July.


Analysis of updated funding figures released today by Labour has found that schools in Wakefield will be on average £19,399 worse off or £47 per pupil down next year due to the Conservatives’ school budget maths bungle. Labour’s analysis found that:


· Schools in Yorkshire and the Humber region are set to be £38.7m worse off in total, exceeding the average cut of £37 million.

· Schools across Wakefield local authority area are set to be worse off by £2.5m in total


Mr Lightwood said the latest gaffe at the Department for Education will cause yet more pain for schools already struggling to balance budgets after years of uncertainty over long-term funding and threatened to further weaken the relationship between local schools and families.


Wakefield’s MP said that trust in the schools system was already at breaking point due to the days of learning missed by children in recent years.


Mr Lightwood pointed to the decisions taken by the Conservatives to open pubs before schools during covid, to prolong strike action by refusing to negotiate with trade unions and to cut funding for school rebuilding, leading to the dangerous RAAC concrete crisis which has affected hundreds of schools, including St Thomas A Becket school in Sandal, causing many to shut their doors.


Shortly after revealing the error, Conservative Education Secretary Gillian Keegan raised eyebrows by claiming that her Party’s stunning by-election defeats in Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth “did not show a swing to Labour”. The swing to Labour in Tamworth was 23.9 per cent, while the swing to Labour in Mid Bedfordshire was 20.5 per cent.


Simon Lightwood MP said,


“This new analysis lays bare the record of the last 13 years of Tory government mismanagement.”


“13 years of cuts and sticking plaster education policies have left students and staff in Wakefield paying the price and picking up the slack.”


“From the scandal of RAAC to the continuous cuts to SEND support the Conservatives have presided over policies that have cut our education system to the bone.”


“Labour has a plan to expand opportunities for all our children. We will expand education, employment and training routes so more people than ever are on pathways with good prospects building on a broad curriculum which gives all young people the opportunity to thrive at schoo

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