The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has published dismal figures for the future of Wandsworth schools in the wake of Government cuts to funding.

According to the figures, as a result of the Government’s “Fairer Funding Formula”, Wandsworth schools are set to “lose £15,612,273 by 2020” which is the equivalent to losing 419 teachers or £603 per pupil.

Labour’s speaker on education Councillor Jeremy Ambache said funding in schools is “vital” for the long-term future of children.

He said: “The Government’s planned reductions in funding will mean larger class sizes here in Wandsworth for all schools which will inevitably erode the quality of our children’s education.

“The country can’t afford not to invest in education – it makes no economic sense to go backwards in the name of austerity and lose the gains made in London’s education over the past decades”.

However, Labour has been accused of “scaremongering” by Wandsworth Council whose figures are significantly lower.

Cllr Kathy Tracey, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We simply don’t recognise the figures that have been produced by this trade-union funded pressure group which appear to be hugely exaggerated when compared to the official Government figures we have been sent, which show a 1.84 per cent reduction by 2019, but which also shows that half our secondary schools benefitting to the tune of an extra £110,000 each on average over the same period.

“Clearly any reduction in funding is regrettable but these reductions are much more modest than the unions and their supporters are alleging and we will be working closely with schools to ensure that teaching budgets are protected as much as possible.”

Cllr Ambache argued the council’s figures do not take into account such things as inflation or teachers’ pensions.

He urged residents to “have their voices heard” in the Government consultation on the proposals.

Jacqueline Valin, Principal of Southfield Academy in Wandsworth, is worried about the future of schools.

She said: “We have had no increase in funding since 2010.”

On top of that, 6th form funding at the school has been reduced, there has only been a one per cent pay award for teachers and grants have been cut.

Principal Valin said her school was lucky because she has put money aside in anticipation of this but other colleagues with less experience have not. “And that’s not their fault”, she added.

She said funding must become a “priority” or in five years’ time the education system will be in crisis. The Government will find it difficult to recruit teachers and standards will drop.

“If you want to create a greater economy for the future you’ve got to put it into education,” she said.

In addition, Ms Valin warned that more and more teachers will travel elsewhere where the conditions are better, for example in Dubai where there’s no tax.

Savanah O’ Donnell, who lives in Wandsworth and has six children with special needs, is worried about the impact on disabled kids.

Without enough resources she said it was possible only the most “severe” cases would be given the proper attention as teachers would have to prioritise.

Although Savanah agrees with the funding formula in that it will give children who are not receiving fair funding more, she said “it isn’t really fair because London schools have a much higher population”.

With regard to Wandsworth Council and their funding, Mrs O’Donnell said: “I don’t believe it’s a lack of funding but mismanagement of it. Only the children will really suffer in the end.”

According to the figures, the Wandsworth schools likely to be worst hit include:

Belleville School, which will lose £548,995 by 2010, equivalent to £664 per pupil or 14 teachers.

Hillbrook School, which will lose £358,039 by 2020, equivalent to £690 per pupil or 8 teachers.

Ashcroft Technical Academy which will lose £868,189, equivalent to £834 per pupil or 21 teachers.

Chestnut Grove, which will lose £739,147, equivalent to £927 per pupil or 25 teachers.

Graveney School which will lose £1011,110, equivalent to £791 per pupil or 23 teachers.

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