UNISON's campaigns

UNISON encourages its members to take responsible action and get involved. So check our active campaign issues in the UK and around the globe.

Council calls on government to halt “divisive”
funding formula for schools - April 2017

In response to the unprecedented level of cuts to school budgets, UNISON has joined the Stop Education Cuts in Sheffield (SECS) campaign.

The first meeting took place on 27/03/17. A number of Sheffield City Councillors attended, including Jackie Drayton Cabinet Member for CYPF. Amongst other things, the group called on the council to publically campaign against real terms cuts to school budgets. They responded swiftly with the press release below.

If you wish to join the new SECS campaign or the existing School Support Staff Working Party, please contact Lisa Smith:- l.smith@sheffunison.org.uk

School Funding campaign

Council calls on government to halt “divisive” funding formula for schools -
April 2017

Sheffield’s Labour councillors are seeking to get the council's full backing on Wednesday, for their motion demanding that the government stop and think again regarding their funding policies for schools.

The government is imposing real term cuts on schools by freezing per-pupil funding at the same time that inflation and school costs increase, and this will affect all schools and academies alike. For the first time in nearly twenty years, the schools budget will not be either protected in real terms and instead funding is only protected in cash terms.
The government is seeking to phase out the Education Services Grant and instead propose a funding formula to readdress imbalances and unfairness in current funding. However, the new proposals have been deemed “divisive” and “completely inadequate” as a means of providing needed funds for schools.

Labour are calling on all schools, parents and carers across Sheffield to write to the Government and local MPs about the cuts to funding, which could risk the viability of some schools. Labour, Unison, NUT and the Headteachers Unions are united in opposing the new formula and demanding the Government adopt a fair approach to funding education. Even amongst schools who are set to gain initially, they will suffer disproportionately from the government’s overall cuts

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families, said: The government’s funding formula is divisive, unfair and pits schools against schools, local authorities against each other, and primaries against secondary schools.

“I am proud to be working alongside the Trade Unions, teachers, support staff, governors, parents and carers to get more funding for Sheffield schools”.

“I call on all from across the city who care about education to write to the government urging them to reconsider their school funding plans.

“The proposed new funding formula will simply redistribute a sum of money that is inadequate to support schools. Shockingly by 2019 Sheffield schools will see an average pupil funding decrease of around 10% - approximately £350 per pupil.

Councillor Craig Gamble-Pugh, who proposed the motion for council, said:
“It is outrageous that schools across our city will be worse off. Schools are already struggling to manage budget deficits and there are shortages of teachers and a widening attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their better-off peers.

“We need new extra funding for our existing schools, and the government needed to do this with their recent budget. They rejected our calls but unforgivably found an extra £500 million for grammar and free schools instead, which we totally oppose.

“The Conservatives’ divisive policies are forcing schools to scramble for funding. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and we are calling for support for the More Funding for all Sheffield Schools’ Campaign.

“We are fighting for funding to be found for schools, not from the proposed redistribution of cash between local authorities or from taking money from primary schools to give to secondary schools, but for new money which is badly needed”.