Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council has announced proposals to cut £3 million from the budget for mainstream local schools to plug a black hole in the budget for special schools and children with high levels of special educational needs (SEND).
South Gloucestershire Lib Dem Schools spokesperson Cllr Ian Blair said:
“It’s absolutely correct that provision for children with Special Educational Needs must be prioritized. It’s troubling that the only way that the Conservatives can see to do this is to take £3 million from general funding for South Gloucestershire’s already chronically underfunded mainstream schools. Rather than simply robbing Peter to pay Paul I would hope that the Conservative administration seriously press Government to make sure that all of South Gloucestershire’s educational needs are adequately funded in future years.”
Leader of the opposition Lib Dems, Claire Young, said:
“As a local parent I am deeply concerned about the state of South Gloucestershire’s schools. When Toby Savage became leader of the Council earlier this year he announced that improving school standards was among his highest proprieties. Cutting £3 million from South Gloucestershire’s mainstream schools budget is hardly likely to help achieve that.
“Local Conservative councillors and MPs love to claim that they have the ear of their Government and can get things done because they belong to the same party. Now is their chance to prove it. South Gloucestershire is currently near the very bottom of the league table for education funding. I am calling on Cllr Savage to lobby his Tory colleagues in Westminster to ensure that this is put right, so that both mainstream education and SEND in South Gloucestershire are properly funded.
“If the Conservatives can afford to splash £120 million of public money on a ‘Festival of Post Brexit Britain’ they can certainly afford £3 million to improve local education.”