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Derbyshire headteachers join rally at Westminster over school funding dispute

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Headteachers from Derbyshire joined hundreds of others from across the country during a recent protest rally at Westminster about school funding in England.

The campaigners recently met at Parliament Square and marched to Downing Street on Friday, September 28, to raise concerns about cuts in education and staffing difficulties to cover all sorts of jobs.

Protest organisers highlighted the Institute of Fiscal Studies claim that per pupil funding has fallen eight per cent in real terms since 2010.

Headteachers also claim budgets have been squeezed by unfunded pay rises, national insurance payments, other cost pressures and rising pupil numbers.

Others have criticised England’s new funding formula which had been introduced to evenly spread the amount which different local authorities receive per pupil.

One headteacher has predicted that his school budgets will be £250,000 in deficit by 2020-21.

The Government claims school funds will rise to a record £43.5bn by 2020 and that a new funding formula is bringing more cash to schools.

Headteachers wanted to highlight the dangers of budget shortfalls and the different funding levels between schools.

A Department for Education spokesman said more money is going into schools than ever before including a record £43.5bn by 2020 which the department claims is more in real terms per pupil than in 2000.

The spokesman also claimed every school attracts more funding per pupil through the National Funding Formula and high needs funding has risen to over £6bn in 2018 and a 3.5per cent pay rise announced for classroom teachers on the main pay range is backed by £508m of Government funding.

The Department for Education accepted it is asking schools to do more which is why it claims it is helping them to reduce the £10bn spent each year on non-staffing costs by providing Government-backed deals for things like printers and energy suppliers to save millions of pounds.