Today at PMQs, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Vince Cable MP asked the Prime Minister what she was going to do about the burning injustices in education, given that her own alma mater, Wheatley Park School in Oxfordshire, has warned it needs to go part time due to budget pressures.
Sir Vince said: “References are already being made to the Prime Minister’s moving speech on ‘burning injustices’ in education. On the day when her own former school, I understand Wheatley Park Comprehensive School near Oxford, is planning to move to part time education because of what the headteacher calls ‘enormous financial pressures’. Does she not agree that she must secure, before she leaves office, additional funding outside the spending review?”
In her own constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon, Lib Dem Education Spokesperson Layla Moran has spoken to staff whose schools can no longer afford to employ teachers five days a week. According to the House of Commons Library, 89% of schools in the constituency are facing a funding shortfall, with its cumulative size since 2015/16 totalling £5 million.
Commenting, Layla said:
“Vince is absolutely right to highlight what is a crisis in this country. Schools are going part-time due to real-terms cuts, and using Amazon wish lists just for basic supplies.
“The Prime Minister has highlighted this ‘burning injustice’, but what has she done about it? We need action from the Conservatives, not words and legacy planning.
“Liberal Democrats want to reverse the cuts to school budgets since 2015. This means an additional £2.2 billion a year to schools. This must be new money from the Treasury. Liberal Democrats want more money for schools, not money moved around.”
Cllr Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Councillor for Wheatley, commented:
“To hear how the village’s secondary school is being forced to consider this kind of drastic action adds insult to injury when you consider that our primary school is already in special measures. The time to address the funding crisis in our schools is now!”