June 16, 2024


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Ashfield council slams government cuts as three schools rated among worst in UK


Ashfield District Council has slammed Government budget cuts for schools underperforming in its area, saying there is a link between reduced finances and performance. According to website schoolcuts.org.uk, Brierley Forest Primary and Nursery, Sutton Community Academy and Kirkby College, which are all rated ‘inadequate’ and are among the worst performing 100 or so schools in the UK, have a combined financial shortfall of £1.1m.

A shortfall in this case is the difference between funding and the amount needed to protect each pupil’s funding in real terms. The figures are calculated using information available in the public domain.

Brierley Forest Primary & Nursery on Westbourne View in Sutton-in-Ashfield was inspected in November 2021 where some pupils and staff said they ‘do not feel safe’. Local residents have said that parking in the area is a ‘nightmare’, and it has recently been taken over by an academy trust that has a track record of improving schools.

Kirkby College on Tennyson Street in Kirkby-in-Ashfield was inspected in November 2021 too, where pupils similarly said they feel ‘unsafe’. Sutton Community Academy on High Pavement in Sutton-in-Ashfield was last fully inspected in March 2019, which detailed inconsistent teaching and poor communication with parents.

Read more: Severn Trent apologises for discoloured water in Nottinghamshire homes

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council and Ashfield Independents, said: “It’s clear where the blame lies for these inadequate Ofsted inspections – The Tories. We need urgent Government intervention now. To have underfunded our schools like this is a scandal.

“Our teachers and their staff have a difficult enough job without their schools being named and shamed. The reality is they have had to deal with some of the worst cuts – year on year by the Conservative Government.

“In Ashfield, our young people are being let down by systematic cuts to their school funding. There is a clear link between cuts and educational attainment and standards.

“The reality is that our young people are being let down by the Conservative Government at every turn. Children’s life chances are being severely impacted by an uncaring, out of touch Conservative Government.”

According to the data, funding across all schools in Nottinghamshire is short by £34.4m. The three schools rated ‘inadequate’ have major shortfalls, with Sutton Community Academy £657,118 short in funding, equating to £1,006 lost per pupil.

Brierley Forest Primary & Nursery are short by £277,235, which is £709 per pupil, and Kirkby College is short by £197,313, which is £519 per pupil.

Councillor Tom Hollis, an Ashfield Independent who represents Sutton West on Nottinghamshire County Council where Brierley Forest Primary & Nursery is located, said: “Three schools have been in the headlines for the wrong reasons. The reality is that these schools are victims of swinging Tory cuts.

“How can they improve when they don’t have the resources to do so? Running a school – especially in an impoverished area is difficult enough. We are calling for the Government to urgently intervene and give our schools the resources they need to give our children a decent start in life.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “This government continues to deliver year on year, with the total core school budget increasing to £56.8 billion by 2024-25; a £7 billion cash increase, compared with 2021-22.

“Through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) and the Schools Supplementary Grant for mainstream schools combined, Nottinghamshire is seeing an extra £41.6 million for schools in 2022-23, an average increase of 6.0% per pupil. This takes total funding for 2022–23 in Nottinghamshire to over £598.3 million.

“Our work continues to support schools, with future increases to funding being frontloaded to rapidly get money to schools, so that in 2022-23 alone, core schools funding will increase by £4bn compared to 2021-22.”


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