The Labour Party today lambasted “the Conservatives’ staggering mathematical incompetence” which will see schools in Suffolk lose nearly £5 million next year.

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

Analysis of updated funding figures released today by Labour has found that schools in Suffolk will be, on average, £16,300 worse off due to the Conservatives’ school budget maths bungle. Labour’s analysis found that:

  • Schools in the East of England are set to be more than £44 million worse off in total, even more than the average national cut of £37 million;
  • Schools across Suffolk local authority area are set to be worse off by nearly £5 million in total;
  • Copleston High School is set to lose out by the largest amount in Suffolk, with the Conservatives’ miscalculation removing nearly £100,000 from the school’s budget. Middleton Primary School will see the largest per pupil drop – £132.

Labour said the latest gaffe at the Department for Education will cause yet more pain for schools already struggling to balance budgets after years of uncertainty over long-term funding.

The Party said 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.

Jack Abbott, Labour and Co-operative prospective parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, said:

“This news is devastating for Suffolk’s schools, with some schools having over £80,000 wiped off their funding, while others will lose income amounting to more than £100 per pupil. 

“School budgets are already stretched to breaking point, so to essentially have £5 million removed from our county’s education system will come as a hammer blow.

“Everywhere you look, the Conservatives are failing our schools, our teachers and our children, from crumbling school buildings to farcical school funding. 

“While education has suffered from 13 years of indifference and incompetence under the Conservatives, Labour will restore ambition and confidence.”

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.”

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