Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has revealed that schools in Stockton on Tees will get just £275,000 to create additional pupil places, whilst 10 southern authorities have been given £15-30 million each under the scheme.
£600m in total has been allocated to local authorities by the Department of Education to tackle the growing pressure for schools places. Once again however it is children in the North East who are losing out, with the bulk of the extra funding going to London and the South East, and Teesside authorities including Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, and Redcar and Cleveland receiving no money whatsoever.
This is yet another blow for schools in Stockton – a £180 million Building Schools for the Future Programme in the Stockton Borough was thrown into disarray in 2010 when the Secretary of State for Education axed the entire programme ending hopes of continuing the work to provide all our children with 21st century facilities.
“This is yet another example of the Tories showing their intent on increasing the North/South divide in this country, with the North East in particular losing out.
“While I don’t doubt that many areas of London and the South East are facing real pressures in terms of school places, the disparity of funding is extreme – one London council alone is receiving over £30m for 2012-13 while much of Teesside is given nothing.
“This is simply unfair and fails to recognise the very real needs amongst schools in the North East. The last Labour Government had developed an action plan to help all Councils provide the school places that were needed. The current Tory led one again shows his massive bias to the south and south east in particular with this latest funding allocation.”