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Local education union hits out at government over Hackney’s plummeting schools budgets

Union reps at Hackney National Education Union (NEU) have warned of the bleak funding outlook for the borough’s schools as new figures reveal they face some of the harshest cuts in England.

In a constituency league table of England’s underfunded schools put together by the NEU, Hackney North and Stoke Newington faces the third-highest cuts of £747 per pupil going into 2020/21.

Hackney South and Shoreditch is not much better, with a drop of £665 per student projected heading into the coming year. The number of students in both constituencies has remained broadly the same since 2015.

Jamie Duff of Hackney NEU said: “Hackney schools will be hit by further significant cuts to their already shrinking budgets despite this government’s claim that the issue of education funding has been sorted.

“This government is making claims about public sector funding that do not actually stack up under closer inspection. The NEU constituency league table shows that the funding proposals clearly have a political dimension.

“What we need is a properly funded education system. I do not think we can trust this government to make good the cuts they have imposed on us since 2010 or to provide any fair and decent funding in the future.”

The NEU have pointed out that of the 18 English constituencies that will see a real-term funding increase, 13 are Conservative-held, with Duff questioning why Labour-held areas like Hackney are far more likely to be hit by cuts than Tory ones, with 77 of the 100 worst-hit constituencies controlled by the opposition party.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Anntoinette Bramble (Lab, London Fields), cabinet member for education, young people and children’s social care, has said that despite the Town Hall planned-£20m investment into local schools, an end to education cuts remained essential.

Cllr Bramble said: “Hackney’s schools are some of the best schools in the country ─ producing outstanding results and providing opportunities for our young people ─ but these figures just show how badly this Tory government is letting them down.

“In 2018 they told us we would see the end of austerity ─ a promise as shallow as their current party leader.

“Our schools need to see a reverse of the Tory funding cuts since 2010, and a National Education Service that will put pupils before privilege ─ why it is so important people vote for a Labour Government on 12th December.”

The Department for Education was approached for comment, but had not responded by time of going to press.

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