A regional daily has launched a campaign to get better funding for schools after revealing pupils on its patch are among the worst funded in England.
A special report by The Star, Sheffield, showed that schools in the city receive the least funding out of all the major cities in England – with £743 less being spent on each pupil there than in Manchester.
The Star splashed on the report for two consecutive last week, dedicating Friday’s front page to headteachers’ opinions on the current situation.
They told of their fears of mass redundancies, some schools left with no teaching assistants, “impossible to maintain” standards and crumbling buildings.
The campaign’s launch comes after the government announced plans to spend £50m on creating more places at selective state schools – a move that ministers said will give parents more choice.
But school leaders criticised the decision, saying they were “disappointed” that the government was spending ‘scarce funding’ on expanding grammar schools.
Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “The government cannot point to a single piece of evidence that shows strong educational benefit of this misguided policy.
“While it may benefit a small minority, it will not close the gap between rich and poor pupils and if anything will increase the divide.”
But Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “By creating new schools where they are needed most and helping all great schools to grow, we can give parents greater choice in looking at schools that are right for their family – and give children of all backgrounds access to a world-class education.”
The Star did not respond to requests from HTFP for a comment on its revelations.