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Cheshire West councillor pleads for more government funding for schools; Nicole Meardon travelled to the House of Commons to join campaign group.

Byline: chesterchronicle Administrator

ACheshire West and Chestercouncillor is urging Government to inject at least [pounds sterling]2.3bn cash into school funding to avoid a funding crisis.

Cllr Nicole Meardon, cabinet member for children and families, met with MPs in the House of Commons as part of the F40 campaign group which represents the worst-funded education authorities in the country.

In Cheshire West and Chester, schools face an [pounds sterling]11.8 million loss to budgets by 2020 compared to 2016. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, education funding in England has been cut by 8 per cent in real-terms.

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Cllr Meardon commented: "Cheshire West schools are struggling with day to day costs. Schools are facing increasing costs with limited funding.

"As other public services are also being impacted by austerity, schools are expected to do more and more for pupils.

"The funding issue is further exacerbated by the critical state of high needs funding used to support schools teaching children with special educational needs and disabilities. Current funding is inadequate to meet the demand.

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"Our schools are having to make difficult choices but often the most vulnerable pupils are at risk.

"All children deserve the very best education possible so it is essential that the Government address the funding crisis urgently."

The F40 group argue that a minimum of [pounds sterling]1.4bn per annum must be added to the high needs funding block to avert crisis and have urged MPs to contact the Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase education spending in the next comprehensive spending review.

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Joining Cllr Meardon wasCreweandNantwichMP Laura Smith, a vehement campaigner for improved funding for schools and vice chair of the F40 Campaign Group in parliament. Like Cheshire West, Cheshire East schools are also facing huge pressures.

Cllr Meardon added: "We need a funding system that works for all schools inCheshire.

"Currently children in some parts of the country are worth less than children who live elsewhere. This is clearly not fair.

"Along with funding increases, we must see mechanisms for distributing funding change so that every child is valued and given every opportunity to flourish and schools can run effectively on the funds allocated."

CAPTION(S):

Cllr Nicole Meardon alongside F40 members at House of Common briefing for MPs; Cllr Nicole Meardon with Laura Smith MP at the event

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Publication:The Chester Chronicle (Chester, England)
Date:May 26, 2019
Words:414
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