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MPs join over 100 school leaders and governors in the North East to discuss the school funding crisis in the region

Today (Friday 16 November) over 100 school leaders, teachers and governors from across the North East will gather in Chester-le-Street for the NAHT North East Education Summit 2018. Joined by MPs and parents, delegates will discuss the impact real-terms cuts to school funding is having on schools in the region.

Schools in the North East are being hit hard by government underfunding. 842 out of 1,004 schools in the North East will face cuts (84%). Across the 12 local authorities in the region, this is a collective loss of funding of £59,961,250 by 2020.

A recent national survey by NAHT shows that 65% of school leaders ‘strongly agree’ that cut backs have already had a negative impact on the performance of their school. And only 8% of school leaders said that they did not foresee a year where they would have an untenable deficit.

Of particular concern to head teachers is the crisis in funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and the future funding of maintained nursery schools, of which there are many in the North East.

The NAHT North East Education Summit 2018 takes place on Friday 16 November, 1.30-4pm, in the Castle Suite of Emirates Riverside Stadium at Durham County Cricket Club.

Four local MPs with address the Summit: Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham), Ian Mearns (Gateshead), Liz Twist (Blaydon) and Phil Wilson (Sedgefield).

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People's Services on Durham County Council, Beth Farhat, Regional Secretary of TUC Northern and Rob Kelsall, NAHT’s National Secretary (Organising & Campaigns) will also speak at the Summit.

Dame Nicola Nelson, Chief Executive of Valour Multi Academy Trust in Newcastle Upon Tyne said: “Significant cuts to North East school funding is having a detrimental impact to our region’s pupils and their learning. Cuts to both support staff and teaching staff hours are now the only way for many schools to make ends meet.

“The impact of these cuts reduces the effectiveness and quality of education for this generation of children. Education should never be seen as a burden on the treasury, but an investment in our future. Are children suddenly worthless? I really hope this isn’t a case of vote winning by finally spending on the NHS whilst hoping education will manage on ‘little extras’. I can tell you with certainty…it will not.”

Peter King, Head Teacher at Federation of Mowden Schools in Darlington said: “Our school has a Department for Education efficiency rating putting us in the top 10% of schools but it feels pointless when we don’t have enough money to replace broken computers or maintain some of our teaching ratios. This accountancy fixation on ever ‘smarter’ cost savings does not serve the interests of our young people.”

Rob Kelsall, National Secretary (Organising & Campaigns) of NAHT, commented: “Schools across the North East are at breaking-point. Government cuts to school budgets have been unrelenting in the last few years and head teachers are saying that enough is enough.

“We are seeing a sharp rise in the number of pupils being taught in super-size classes, vital support for children with special needs being taken away and some schools even having to close early and move to a four and half day week in order to make the books balance.

“842 out of 1,004 schools in the North East that we’ve analysed, face funding cuts. The situation is untenable and we are calling on politicians on all sides to join with us and end this crisis right now.

“The Chancellor’s ‘little extras’ for whiteboards is nowhere near enough when this government is taking nearly £60 million out of North East schools by 2020.

“The children and young people of the North East are our future. They deserve a first class education service. Investment in our schools should never be seen as a burden on the taxpayer. Without the skills for the economy of tomorrow, how will the UK survive and prosper in a post-Brexit economy?”

The impact of the funding crisis on individual schools can be looked up on the School Cuts website.

The figures for North East local authorities are as follows:

  • Darlington: 29 out of 33 schools will face cuts. The authority’s schools will lose £3,110,49 by 2020.
  • Durham: 194 out of 243 schools will face cuts. The authority’s schools will lose £8,160,917 by 2020.
  • Gateshead: 61 out of 74 schools will face cuts. The authority’ schools will lose £2,406,159 by 2020.
  • Hartlepool: 27   out of 33 schools will face cuts. The authority’s schools will lose £2,141,630 by 2020.
  • Middlesbrough: 46 out of 46 schools will face cuts. The authority’s schools will lose £7,737,804 by 2020.
  • Newcastle upon Tyne: 59 out of 81 schools will face cuts. The authority’s schools will lose £5,154,503 by 2020.
  • North Tyneside: 60 out of 69 schools will face cuts. The authority’ schools will lose £4,344,790 by 2020.
  • Northumberland: 129 out of 154 schools will face cuts. The authority’ schools will lose £8,887,009 by 2020.
  • Redcar and Cleveland: 53 out of 54 schools will face cuts. The authority’ schools will lose £4,346,366 by 2020.
  • South Tyneside: 33 out of 53 schools will face cuts. The authority’ schools will lose £2,378,271 by 2020.
  • Stockton-on-Tees: 57 out of 67 schools will face cuts. The authority’ schools will lose £3,834,685 by 2020.
  • Sunderland: 94  out of 97 schools will face cuts. The authority’ schools will lose £7,058,618 by 2020.

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

Email : press.office@naht.org.uk