Birkenhead MP criticises government maths error costing Wirral schools £2.5m

Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley today lambasted “the Conservatives’ staggering mathematical incompetence” which will see schools in Wirral lose nearly two and a half million pounds next year.

The Department for Education last month acknowledged that it had miscalculated the amounts of funding due to be granted to state schools in England next year, admitting to a £370m error in the information they gave schools in July.

Analysis of updated funding figures released today by Labour has found that schools in Wirral will be on average £22,121 worse off or £52 per pupil down next year due to the Conservatives’ school budget maths bungle. Labour’s analysis found that:

  • Schools in the North West are set to be £53,348,157 worse off in total, more than the average cut of £37 million
  • Schools across the Wirral local authority area are set to be worse off by £2,411,220

Labour said the latest gaffe at the Department for Education will cause yet more pain for schools already struggling to balance budgets after years of uncertainty over long-term funding and threatened to further weaken the relationship between local schools and families.

The Party said that trust in the schools system was already at breaking point due to the days of learning missed by children in recent years.

Labour pointed to the decisions taken by the Conservatives to open pubs before schools during covid, to prolong strike action by refusing to negotiate with trade unions and to cut funding for school rebuilding, leading to the dangerous RAAC concrete crisis which has affected hundreds of schools, causing many to shut their doors.  

Mick Whitley MP said, “Rishi Sunak says young people need to be learning maths to 18. Perhaps he should teach his own Ministers to count first.

“The Tories’ staggering mathematical incompetence will cause real and lasting harm to students living across the Wirral, and particularly in the most deprived communities in Birkenhead.

“It follows over a decade of brutal Tory cuts to school budgets and government failures over the pandemic which disrupted students’ learning and pushed our schools to breaking point.”

Image: MP for Birkenhead, Mick Whitley

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