Joe Morris slams Conservative fiscal incompetence

Joe Morris, our Parliamentary Candidate, slammed the staggering Conservative mathematical incompetence that will see Northumberland Schools lose almost £2million a year.

Last month the Department for Education admitted to miscalculating the amounts of funding due to be granted to state schools in England next year, admitting to a £370m error in the information they gave schools in July.

Analysis of updated funding figures released today by Labour has found that schools in the Hexham constituency will be on average over £10,000 worse off or £47.15 per pupil down next year due to the Conservatives’ school budget bungle. Labour’s analysis found that:

Schools across the Northumberland local authority area are set to be worse off by £1,991,621 in total.

Prudhoe Community High School (pictured above) loses out on £63 per pupil of funding, while Prudhoe Castle First School loses out on £68.

Hexham Middle School loses out on £49 per pupil, Queen Elizabeth High School on £60 and Hexham First School on £68 per pupil of funding.

Haltwhistle Academy loses £48 per pupil, Haydon Bridge High School loses £68 per pupil.

Heddon-on-the-Wall’s St Andrews Primary School loses £46 per pupil, Ovingham Middle School £61 and Corbridge Middle School £49.

Schools in rural communities are hardest hit, Otterburn Primary School losing £79 per pupil and Kielder Primary School losing £278.

This latest gaffe by the Department for Education will cause yet more pain for schools already struggling to balance budgets after years of uncertainty over long-term funding and threatens to further weaken the relationship between local schools and families.

The Party said that trust in the schools system was already at breaking point due to the days of learning missed by children in recent years.

Labour pointed to the decisions taken by the Conservatives to open pubs before schools during covid, to prolong strike action by refusing to negotiate with trade unions and to cut funding for school rebuilding, leading to the dangerous RAAC concrete crisis which has affected hundreds of schools, causing many to shut their doors.

Shortly after revealing the error, Conservative Education Secretary Gillian Keegan raised eyebrows by claiming that her Party’s stunning by-election defeats in Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth “did not show a swing to Labour”. The swing to Labour in Tamworth was 23.9 per cent, while the swing to Labour in Mid Bedfordshire was 20.5 per cent.

Our candidate Joe Morris, commenting on this during a a packed weekend of campaigning in Heddon on the Wall and elsewhere in the Constituency, said:

The Conservatives can’t manage our school budgets properly and have left schools in Northumberland and across our constituency counting the cost of their incompetence.

We need a Labour MP who will fight for communities across the Hexham constituency – from Kielder and Otterburn, to Corbridge and Haltwhistle as well as Hexham and Prudhoe.

This is a serious failure by the Conservative Government, in which our current MP, Guy Opperman happily sits as a minister, that will negatively impact children and families across the constituency. He should apologise.

The next General Election will offer people in our constituency a choice between a century of Conservative complacency or a fresh start, by electing our first Labour MP.’

Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

Rishi Sunak wants young people to learn maths to 18, but he ought to get his own house in order first and teach Conservative Education Ministers how to count.

Ministers’ staggering mathematical incompetence follows hot on the heels of disruption caused by the Conservatives which has pushed our schools to breaking point.

“It’s no wonder that the relationship between families, schools and government is at rock bottom – education simply isn’t a priority for the Conservatives.

Labour’s priority will be to put education at the heart of national life again, and to rebuild the trust between schools, families and government so that we can drive high and rising standards in our classrooms, supporting children to achieve and thrive.

We will start by recruiting 6,500 more teachers and put mental health counsellors in every secondary school, paid for by ending private schools’ tax breaks.”

Joe Morris campaigning in Heddon

Super Saturday in Heddon on the Wall

Joe led CLP members from across the Constituency on the third of our Super Saturday Canvassing events in Heddon on the Wall. Going door to door, speaking to residents and hearing their concerns, our team of canvassers spoke to dozens of households and delivered hundreds of leaflets. We heard their concerns about Schools, the NHS, the cost of living, transport and climate change. Right across the constituency people are worried. Yet after 13 years the Conservative Government and Guy Opperman are deaf to their concerns. The time is right for change and the voters of Heddon are clamouring for a better Britain, a fairer, greener Britain.

Join the Labour Party

Right across Hexham Constituency Labour Party members are working to get Guy Opperman out after 13 disastrous years of Conservative government.

If you’d like to get involved please consider joining the party or making a donation.