We welcome reports that the Tories are going to rethink their unfair funding formula but the timing, during a general election without proper scrutiny, is deeply cynical and we will carefully examine whatever proposals they do come up with.
(from top left: Gareth Wilson, Richard Flowers, Peter Hirst, Ian Priestner, David Crowther)
Parents across Cheshire East will have been shocked and dismayed by the news that the Tory government was cutting funding for our schools to the lowest in the country. Head teachers already sending begging letters and considering redundancies will have been in despair. Senior Tories are already threatening a rebellion:
The proposed funding cuts fall the deepest in Cheshire East. Our schools will become the most poorly funded schools in the country at just £4122 per pupil. By 2019 Cheshire East’s schools will have lost nearly £25 Million of funding - the equivalent of 670 teachers’ salaries.
These are not the values that parents want to see for their children.
Liberal Democrats would protect school funding, from the early years through to college. We believe that education is the key to opportunity and fairness: the opportunity for people to achieve whatever they want to be; the fairness that comes from everyone having a decent start in life.
There is nothing fair about these cuts.
With Liberal Democrats in government we delivered the pupil premium, extra help for those most in need in the years when it can do most good. And we brought in free school meals for the early years, because the evidence said children who have a decent meal learn better in the afternoon.
Without Lib Dems to hold them to account the Tories have U-turned on those promises and abandoned our children. How can the local Tory MPs say they are fighting this when they never rebel in parliament, never hold the government to account?
It is clearly that only the threat to these backbenchers in the election has brought even the hint of a rethink.
All our local Tory MPs have voted strongly for the government’s education policies, for diverting much needed funds into vanity project Free Schools and now they back Mrs May's UKIP-inspired policy on Grammar Schools, giving more money to the people who already doing best at the expense of the children who need it most.
In particular, David Rutley (Macclesfield) may have presented a petition from constituents to Parliament but on 25 January this year he voted in support of the school funding cuts, against a motion calling on the Government to ensure that all schools have the funding that they need:
When our MPs send mixed messages, no wonder they are not listened to.
And when ministers are ignoring even our local Tories it’s clear that only by voting for the Liberal Democrats will they be held to account for these disastrous cuts to our schools.