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I completely agree.
The cuts proposed by the Government have led parents to get in touch with me to say, “What is it about Southwark children this Government do not like?” Why is my constituency being targeted for cuts? These cuts will impede the progress that schools have made, prevent them from managing the challenges they face and damage the prospects of the children and families I serve, but whom this Government are failing.
Of course, the Department’s figures do not include costs that schools cannot ignore: pension contributions, the apprenticeship levy and higher national insurance contributions. The National Audit Office figures suggest that the borough of Southwark will lose £12.5 million by 2018-19 and that schools in my constituency alone will lose £6.9 million.
If Ministers push forward with these plans, they will fail schools, fail teachers and fail families and children, and the Secretary of State will undermine parents’ aspirations for their children, undermine future opportunities for Southwark children and undermine the prospects for this country overall. The Government must rethink this blatant attack on opportunity and stand by their manifesto commitment.