No one would deny that our children deserve the very best education that we can give them, and I have seen for myself that is happening in Wansbeck during my regular visits to schools.
We are fortunate to have so many excellent local schools, run by dedicated teachers and support staff, with the backing of parents, and they deserve our heartfelt thanks for the wonderful work they do.
Sadly, all that is under threat, not just here Wansbeck, but nationally as well, because of schools’ funding cuts that have been outlined by the Conservative government.
The teaching unions the NUT and the ATL are warning of the ‘catastrophic impact’ funding cuts will have on our schools, with the National Audit Office saying they could amount to a loss of around £3bn over the next two or three years.
In real terms, the cuts would affect every pupil in 92 per cent of our schools, with the most disadvantaged areas being the hardest hit.
In Northumberland it has been estimated that schools could lose £13m by 2019, with on average £347 less being spent per pupil and as many as 350 teaching jobs being lost.
In some cases in Wansbeck, the figures are significantly worse.
Detailed information breaking down those figures school by school is available at www.schoolcuts.org.uk and you can see how your own child’s school would be impacted by logging on to the website and entering your postcode.
Recently the Government has said that the cuts that were due to be implemented from March will be delayed, which gives us the chance to let Prime Minister Theresa May know that here in Wansbeck we totally reject them.
You can join that protest by logging on to my website at www.ianlavery.org.uk and signing the petition I have started to show Mrs May in no uncertain terms that we will fight her government’s plans to deprive our children of the quality education they deserve.