Eastbourne MP, Stephen Lloyd, wants to know where the additional schools funding, promised by the Education Minister has come from.
Justine Greening has pledged schools in England £1.3bn in additional funding over the next two years, which, according to Mr Lloyd, comes from money diverted from other parts of the education budget, including £420m from the Capital Budget.
The Liberal Democrat feels this is a U-turn, following a campaign in the run-up to the General Election from parents, schools and teachers.
Stephen Lloyd MP said, “Whilst I welcome the Education Minister’s promise of a much needed additional £1.3bn of funding for schools, I do worry about where exactly this funding is coming from. There is no ‘new’ money from the Treasury, so these funds are effectively only ‘recycled’ from other parts of an already over-stretched education budget. The Tory Government promised in their manifesto an extra £4bn of funding for schools, instead we see only a third of this, none of it new, and all just diverted from elsewhere within education. This is simply a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is also unacceptable that £420m will come out of the capital budget for buildings and repairs, as this will obviously impact directly upon the quality of our school buildings.”
Lloyd added, “£1.3bn of funding is way short of the £3bn that schools faced cutting from their own budgets and falls short of actually allaying the fears held by myself, Head Teachers and parents across Eastbourne & Willingdon. In addition, the Minister has announced that £600m will come from unidentified new cuts to the Department for Education budget. Is this Government so incompetent that after 2 years of so-called efficiency savings they are still able to find £600m of ‘unidentified’ savings out of thin air?”