Redbridge schools facing more than £8,000,000 of cuts, unions claim

Nightingale pupils dressing up for World Book Day earlier this year. Seth, Sid and Daniel, all aged

Nightingale pupils dressing up for World Book Day earlier this year. Seth, Sid and Daniel, all aged six, and William aged five. Picture: John Macdonald-Fulton - Credit: John M Fulton

The borough’s schools are facing cuts of millions of pounds in the next four years, according to union bosses.

Using the latest available data from the Department for Education, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) predict that schools in Redbridge will face cuts of £8,669,154 by 2020.

The shocking figure did not come as a surprise to Kash Malik, of Redbridge’s NUT branch.

“We won’t feel the cuts for the next two years, because there is always a built in buffer zone.” he told the Recorder.

“I think in Redbridge we will see a lot of teachers move out of the area in the next five years. I’m not scaremongering but why would they stay?

“These budget cuts will price teachers out of areas like Ilford, so of course they’re going to move away.

“And then what we’ll have is schools employing under qualified teachers, subject specialists are also going to disappear because if you’re teaching science or maths you can go anywhere.”

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The projected cuts are based on union calculations which subtract the projected funding figures over the next four years from spending levels last year.

Across the UK, they claim schools will be asked to save £2.5bn.

Mr Malik said: “We are one of the best boroughs in the whole country. Redbridge Council has done a really good job with education and these budget cuts are really going to damage this borough and it’s a disgrace.”

However, the government argued that the spending projects used by the unions are deliberately misleading.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “This is irresponsible scaremongering based on speculation.

“It’s unfair and confusing for parents, pupils and schools.

“We are due to publish a new fairer funding formula, and as the NUT and ATL admit, their speculative figures do not take that into account.

“The government’s fairer funding proposals will ensure that areas with the highest need attract the most funding and end the historic unfairness in the system.”