Merton's schools set to receive a £5.1m cut to spending power

29 Jan 2024
Classroom of school pupils

Merton's schools set to receive a £5.1m cut to spending power

-            Merton's schools are set to be hit with a £5.1m cut to spending power in 2024/25.

-            The cut will equate to a £210 fall in funding per pupil

-            Nationally Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to boost funding for local schools as they struggle to balance the books

-            Local Labour Council bosses have twice rejected plans to support local schools budgets as energy costs spike

Schools in Merton are set to be hit with a £5.1m cut to spending power - 2024/25 data from the National Education Union (NEU) reveals – as running costs rise.

It means that funding per pupil will be cut by £210 in 2024/25 when compared with 2023/24. 

There are 53 schools in Merton - 49 of which will have less spending power in 2024/25 as a result of these funding cuts.

For Primary schools in Merton, there will be a £177 reduction in spending power per pupil over the next financial year, and in Secondary schools that figure is a £310 fall.

Merton Liberal Democrats are concerned that the fall in spending power will push already stretched school budgets to the brink.

It comes as new data released today shows that this Conservative Government has cut the annual growth in funding in cash terms from 8% in 2023/4 to 3.1% in 2024/5. 

The Lib Dems are calling for the Government to review school funding after the IFS has concluded that the purchasing power of school budgets in 2024 will still be about 4% lower than in 2010.

In March 2022, Merton Labour Council bosses rejected a Liberal Democrat budget proposal to establish a 'school energy bill support fund', and in September 2022 refused even to look at options to work with schools to reduce energy use.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Wimbledon, Cllr Paul Kohler said:

"There is no more important profession than teaching - which is why I'm so proud one of my daughters is a teacher here in Merton. 

"We need to give children the best start in life as investing in education is investing in our future.

"We have fantastic local schools, but they won't stay that way if they're forced to increase class sizes and cut maintenance, scrimp on materials and turn off the heating and lights.

"This Conservative Government has let school buildings crumble and overseen a severe shortage of teachers.

"Far from preparing the next generation for the future, Ministers have totally abandoned them.

"The Treasury needs to urgently look at increasing school funding. And in the interim, local Councils should take action”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

-            The data from the NEU can be found here.

-            Government school funding statistics can be found here

-            IFS data is available here