Portsmouth teachers forced to fund pupils’ supplies, City MP tells Minister

Stephen Morgan MP has raised concerns in the House of Commons today over the adequacy of funding for school buildings and worrying research suggesting that 94% of teachers are paying for essential classroom supplies, according to a National Education Union/TES report.

Member of Parliament, Stephen Morgan, used Education Questions to highlight recent research which found that 94% of teachers are being forced to purchase basic school supplies for their pupils, including in his constituency of Portsmouth South.

Mr Morgan told the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, and her minister, the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, that ‘hard-working staff at schools in Portsmouth are buying glue sticks’ for children in the city and asked whether the Minister ‘still maintains that Portsmouth schools have enough money and resources?’

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Government education cuts will mean a 4.6 per cent cuts for schools between 2015 and 2018. The severity of cuts means there are over half a million primary-age children now in large classes over 30, with around 40,000 pupils being taught in classes of 36 or more.

Stephen Morgan MPsaid:

“Local schools in Portsmouth are raising numerous issues with me ranging from lack of funding for essential school building works, to a lack of funding for vital equipment.

We are seeing budgets cuts for our schools for the first time in twenty years and this is having a devastating impact in our city. I remain committed to giving our schools a strong voice in Westminster. 

It is absolutely disgraceful that children are having to rely on the generosity of staff in order to receive basic supplies such as pencils and glue-sticks. What is particularly outrageous is that the Tories are passing the buck to overstretched teachers whose pay they continue to cap below inflation. 

The response I received from the Government today was typically disappointing. Instead of answering my question, the Minister simply talked about parents paying for school trips and changes to the curriculum.  Children and teachers in Portsmouth are facing a real crisis and deserve far better”.

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