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Opinion: Government must invest in schools

PUBLISHED: 08:30 23 June 2019

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting is shocked local schools are applying to Children in Need for funding.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting is shocked local schools are applying to Children in Need for funding.

Archant

We're used to seeing Redbridge schools in the headlines for outstanding results.

But, last week schools in Ilford hit the national headlines because they've been forced to apply to BBC Children in Need to save vital support programmes for disadvantaged pupil, which have been put at risk by government cuts to school funding.

Teachers and support staff are trying their best in increasingly challenging circumstances.

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According to the National Education Union, 58 of the 65 schools in our area have suffered cuts to per pupil funding. Overall, this means that schools in Redbridge have lost out on a staggering £31.4million between 2015 and 2019, which equates to a loss of £220 per pupil.

Every time I meet local headteachers, they tell me they are increasingly struggling to find the money they need to provide the very best for local children.

Last week I visited Roding Primary School to present them with an award recognising the nurture and care they provide to their children, including their specialist support for children who are deaf or have severe hearing impairments.

The week before I was blown away by pupils from Glade, Clore Tikva and Parkhill primary schools and Caterham and King Solomon high schools, who presented their work on tackling poor air quality in our city.

We have amazing schools, with dedicated staff and brilliant students. It's high time the government listened to their concerns and started investing in them so that future generations can benefit from the high-quality education they deserve.

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