Norfolk headteacher funding crisis concerns raised in parliament

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A letter from the headteachers of hundreds of Norfolk's primary and secondary schools warning of an 'imminent' funding crisis has been raised in parliament.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis told MPs that heads across the county had taken the 'unprecedented step' of writing to parents about the impending budget crisis.

He called for the leader of the House of Commons to devote more parliamentary time to debating the issue.

Mr Lewis said there was an impending budget crisis at a time when 'precious financial resources are being spent on more free schools and grammar schools rather than those schools that we already have'.

'Some 25 out of 31 schools in my constituency will receive funding cuts, and I would like more time to debate that,' he said.

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It came as Theresa May was forced to defend the controversial shake-up of school funding in England after a respected economic think tank warned it would create 'significant winners and losers' in prime minister's question time yesterday.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the Prime Minister of focusing on the 'vanity project' of a new generation of grammars rather than ensuring existing schools have the funding they need.

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But Mrs May insisted 'it's not a vanity project to want every child in this country to have a good school place'.

Responding to Mr Lewis leader of the House of Commons David Lidington, who oversees the business of the debating chambers, said secretary of state Justine Greening would be considering a recently concluded consultation on the controversial new funding formula which will see the way that funding is allocated to schools change.

Labour MP Mr Lewis said local headteachers were right to raise the alarm.

'The Education Policy Institute (a respected independent think-tank) has done an analysis of school budgets and the proposed funding formula and its findings are stark for parents and pupils in my constituency. The new formula hits schools in Norwich South harder than any other constituency in East Anglia.' Mrs May said the government had 'protected school funding, more teachers in our schools, more teachers with first-class degrees in our schools, more children in good or outstanding schools'.

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