Wakefield MP calls for education cuts to stop during debate in Parliament

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh has urged the Government to stop cutting education resources during a Parliamentary debate this week.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 28th June 2017, 11:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:45 am

The re-elected representative said the lack of funding is approaching crisis point in Wakefield and is making life ‘very hard’ for the region’s schools.

She made reference to the recent letter signed by headteachers of the region’s schools and sent to parents warning them that they face reducing the school week and making teachers redundant.

She singled headteachers for praise in the face of mounting financial difficulties, including Clare Kelly of Dane Royd School, Miriam Oakley at Horbury Academy and Rob Marsh at Cathedral Academy.

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Ms Creagh said: “I want every child in this country to get a decent education no matter where they were born but for far too many children in Wakefield, the odds are stacked against them.

“A quarter grow up in poverty and are eligible for free schools meals - double the national average.

“We have lost 11 Sure starts Centres in Wakefield since 2010 and every 16 year-old that was eligible no longer gets the Educational Maintenance Allowance to help them stay on in college.

“I pay tribute to Wakefield headteachers who are doing so much for our young people despite the £21m of funding cuts that they will see over the next few years.

“Fewer teachers, bigger class sizes, fewer choices for students taking GCSEs and A-levels, a reduction in vocational courses, less support for children with SEN or mental health problems, less money for textbooks and computers - this is what headteachers warned of in a letter to parents.

“I urge the Government look again at these cuts, you are harming children in Wakefield.”

She did say praise the work of Wakefield Council and partners in tackling ‘low levels of tertiary education’ with the £7m unversity centre- the Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre - at Wakefield College, which is opening this summer.