Changes in the way the government calculates how much money schools should get for each pupil have resulted in drastic cuts, some of Northumberland’s schools.
The worst affected is Bishop’s Primary School in Ashington which is to have nearly £89,000 stripped from its budget; the worst affected school in the whole of the country.
Another is Central Primary School in Ashington which will lose nearly £42,00 from its budget.
Northumberland Labour leader Scott Dickinson said: “Previously the calculation for how much schools receive for each of their pupils was based on the number eligible for free school meals in January. However, the government has changed that this year and is calculating the premium on how many pupils were eligible for free school meals in October 2020.
“Because so many children became eligible for free school meals as a result of the pandemic, those pupils will not attract government funding.
“Whoever came up with this way of calculating this should be ashamed of themselves. The North East, where many people voted for the Tories because they thought they’d get a better deal from them, has been given a slap in the face.
“The government admits some schools will be worse off. They’re not kidding. Cuts of this magnitude mean teachers’ and staff jobs in Northumberland are at risk. There are no two ways about it.
“To have this treatment after the 18 months that teachers and school staff have had, working their hardest to support children and families in the worst of times, is a total insult. How the government can justify this I will never know.
“So much for leveling up. They’ve done what they always do, put more money in the affluent South and steal it away from the North. It’s shocking.”