SCHOOL funding is set to be a key issue for many parents as they step inside the polling booths for next month’s election.
Warrington remains one of the 10 worst funded areas in the country for education.
Liberal Democrat candidates have promised to reverse cuts to school budgets and invest nearly £7 billion in education, paid for by reversing cuts to corporation tax.
Cllr Bob Barr, Liberal Democrat candidate for Warrington South, said: “Children in Warrington are being taught in overcrowded classes by overworked teachers but Theresa May doesn’t care. While funding per pupil is set to see the biggest cuts in a generation, billions of pounds are being spent on divisive plans to expand grammars and free schools.
"We will reverse crippling cuts to school budgets to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed.”
Under the Government’s new formula, schools in the best funded areas would receive £2,469 more per child than schools in Warrington.
Head teachers say the cuts could lead to children being taught by unqualified teachers in classrooms that go without basic repairs or new furniture.
But Labour MP Helen Jones, who is running for re-election in Warrington North, said: “I never cease to be amazed at the bare-faced cheek of the Liberal Democrats.
“They sustained a Tory government in office for five years, presiding over year after year of cuts to our schools and underfunding for the NHS. They voted for a bill which took £100 million out of Warrington’s budget.
“Only Labour will fund our schools properly by boosting funding by £4.8 billion a year and halting the Tories’ cuts to Warrington schools. We will also provide much needed capital investment for new school places where parents need them.”
Head teachers said they were ‘horrified’ by the new formula and wrote to parents asking for help to tackle the crisis.
Conservative MP for Warrington South, David Mowat, also promised in February to confront schools minister Nick Gibb about the cuts.
Cllr Val Allen, who is standing as the Conservative candidate for Warrington North, said: “We cannot fund our schools properly unless we have a strong economy. The best way of ensuring a strong economy is to vote for the strong, stable leadership of Theresa May and the Conservatives on June 8. Voting for any other party risks letting in Jeremy Corbyn and having him and his coalition of chaos take Britain back to the 1970s.”