England

Sandbach school funding protest by parents

Protest march Sandbach Image copyright Jonathan White
Image caption Parents are angry at the proposed changes which they claim will leave their children worse off

Hundreds of parents have taken part in a protest march against what they claim are "unfair" school funding plans.

The government has announced a new national formula for schools to address "inconsistent" funding levels.

The march started at Sandbach School on Crewe Road at 11:00 and ended at Sandbach Cobbles in the town centre.

Organiser Laura Smith said the march allowed Cheshire parents to show their anger at changes they claim will leave their children worse off.

Image copyright Jonathan White
Image caption The march started at Sandbach School on Crewe Road at 11:00 and ended at Sandbach Cobbles in the town centre

The national funding formula proposals would reduce spending per pupil in Cheshire East to just under £4,200, which is among the lowest in the country.

In the London borough of Westminster schools will receive almost £6,000 per pupil.

The protest in Sandbach follows a similar demonstration staged in Nantwich last month.

Image copyright Jonathan White
Image caption Organiser Laura Smith said the march allowed Cheshire parents to show their anger at changes they claim will leave their children worse off

One parent of a pupil at Vernon Primary School in Poynton said: "We're protesting against education funding cuts and the proposed national funding formula which is anything but fair."

Heva Simpson said it was "wonderful to see parents coming together to make sure our voice is heard".

In January MPs debated warnings that schools in England faced deep funding problems during which shadow education secretary Labour MP Angela Rayner accused the government of failing in its pledge to protect school spending.

Image copyright Heva Simpson
Image caption The consultation for the proposals closes on 22 March

Education Secretary Justine Greening said schools were already receiving record levels of funding.

She told MPs she accepted there were "cost pressures" but that schools had "significant scope for efficiencies".

The Department for Education has said the current system for distributing funds across the country is "unfair" and the new plans will see more than half of England's schools receive a cash boost.

The consultation for the proposals closes on 22 March.

Research by the Education Policy Institute suggests every state school in England will see budget cuts before 2020 even after the proposals are put in place.

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