Garth Harkness

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Saddleworth North Ward on Oldham Council Learn more

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Confronting the school’s cuts crisis in Oldham

by Garth Harkness on 7 January, 2020

The Oldham Liberal Democrats have consistently campaigned against schools’ cuts.  They want the Council to write to the Government to fill the funding gap.  Schools are underfunded by an estimated 12 Million pounds across Oldham Borough.  Councillor Garth Harkness will bring a motion to January 8th full Council in 2020. This is to send a message to the new government to keep their promises.

Councillor Harkness says  “There was a government review in 2019 that highlighted the need to fund our schools properly.  Oldham Council needs to send a strong, united message to PM Boris Johnson and his new Government asking them to deliver on the findings of the review.”

Councillor Diane Williamson is also supporting the policy:  “For every pound that the Government cut and continue to direct away from Oldham Schools, there is a child being deprived of opportunity.  We need to stop this and do all we can.”

Council 8th January 2020 – Notice of Opposition Business

Motion 1  – Confronting the school’s cuts crisis

This Council notes that:

  • Although additional funding has been allocated to schools for 2020/21, this will does not compensate for the lack of real terms funding to reflect pay and price increases in previous years.
  • Oldham Borough is ranked 73 out of 149 local authorities (149 being the lowest funded) in England for 2020-2021 school funding.
  • Schools are struggling to maintain the standard of education due to the cumulative effect of underfunding over many years, particularly as the level of High Needs funding has not kept pace with the increase in pupils with Special Educational Needs
  • Some schools are attempting to reduce the number of special needs pupils accepted because of the funding gap.

This Council resolves to:

  • Have the Leader of the Council write to the Minister of Education asking for recognition of the harm that the underfunding of schools has had on the standard of education in this country and in Oldham Borough and to do more to address the shortfall in funding for schools.

Proposed by: Councillor Garth Harkness Seconded by: Councillor Diane Williamson

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