Molly Scott Cato slams education cuts in Bristol as Tories revolt

Molly has hit out at Theresa May’s ‘devastating’ school funding cuts as Tory MPs revolt over the controversial plans.

The Bristol West candidate joins more than a dozen Conservative MPs who have today publicly criticised the Prime Minister’s funding shake-up, which headteachers warn will lead to many schools across Bristol losing huge sums of money.

Schools in Bristol West are set to lose 13% of their funding in real terms and per pupil funding will fall by £642 by 2020, according to figures released by the National Audit Office.

Freezes on school budgets across the city will amount to a loss of more than £33m for Bristol schools by 2020, according to analysis from UNISON.

James Barry, the secretary of the National Association of Headteachers in Bristol has previously slammed Theresa May’s claim that schools have more funding than ever. In February, when the cuts were first announced, the head of Parson Street Primary School said:

“I cannot understand that the government think it’s OK to say they’re increasing funding for schools when they’re not. That is an out-and-out lie.”

Commenting on the latest revolt against the plans, Molly said:

“It should be a stark warning to parents across Bristol that Theresa May is prepared even to ignore warnings from within her own ranks about the devastating impact of the Government’s plans to slash school budgets in the city.”

“Such vast cuts will unavoidably have a negative impact on the quality of education available to pupils across Bristol. We’re already seeing schools like Redland Green and Olympus feeling forced to go cap in hand to parents as the funding crisis hits critical levels.”

“The education system in Bristol, under the Tories, is already under pressure, £33m cuts will make it that much harder for teachers and headteachers to do their jobs.”

“These cuts are particularly hard to stomach when viewed alongside plans for millions of pounds of education funding to BE diverted into Theresa May’s grammar schools vanity projects and Cameron’s inefficient, underused and chaotic free school failures.”

While the Labour Party has raised concerns about the impact of the cuts, the Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner has voiced support for Theresa May’s plans ‘in principle‘.

Molly added:

“That some of the loudest critical voices against Theresa May’s plans are coming from the Conservative benches is as much a failure of a weak and divided Labour Party to provide a united opposition as it is a signal of just how destructive the cuts will be.”

“If elected as your MP, I pledge to stand united with teachers, parents, and my Green colleagues in the House of Commons to resist these cuts and fight to protect our schools in Bristol and across the country. I am backing the trade union-sponsored Schools Cuts campaign to force the government, whatever shape in will take after June 8, to scrap these disastrous plans.”

The Green Party is committed to providing children with properly funded, free and equal access to quality education. Greens are opposed to running schools as businesses and making them exam factories we are wasting children’s potential and stifling creativity.

Greens believe a comprehensive system of local schools offering mixed ability teaching staffed by qualified teachers will offer pupils the brightest start and best opportunity to fulfil their potential. The Green Party also believes accountability is key and will push to bring Academies and Free Schools back into the Local Authority system.