MP Ruth George ‘mislead parents’ over school funding figures says High Peak candidate

Ruth George, MP for the High Peak
Ruth George, MP for the High Peak

Conservative parliamentary candidate Robert Largan has claimed High Peak MP Ruth George ‘mislead parents’ over school funding figures from a ‘discredited’ website.

Robert wrote in a press release to the Advertiser how Ruth had wrongly claimed High Peak schools were seeing £1.7m cuts a year - a figure which he claimed was ‘demonstrably false’.

The Conservative candidate claimed the ‘trade union-backed’ School Cuts website was heavily criticised by the independent UK Statistics Authority - which described it as ‘misleading’.

He wrote how the School Cuts Coalition ‘failed to factor-in £450m of funding into their calculations’.

Mr Largan’s statement read: “The latest figures provided by Derbyshire County Council show that school funding in the High Peak will increase next year from £50.7million to £52.1million - with average per pupil funding increasing from £4,452 to £4,524 per pupil.

“Factoring in inflation the real terms increase in the block funding budget in the High Peak is £505,644.”

Ruth told the Advertiser figures released by the House of Commons library showed school funding in High Peak had fallen by £2.2m since 2013-14.

She said: “Ruth said: “I have visited well over half of our 50 schools and they all tell me of the very real funding pressures they are under.

“School funding is complicated and the Conservatives try to claim it’s going up when everyone involved in schools can see they are having to make cuts.”

A spokesperson for the School Cuts Campaign said: “Our figures have been replicated by the UK Statistics Authority who have agreed that 91 per cent of schools have had cuts. 

“While the headline figure for funding schools in Derbyshire has increased the quoted per pupil figures don’t include inflation and the real terms increase doesn’t take pupil numbers into account.

“The latest figures show that per pupil funding has fallen from £4,879 to £4,689.  

“Forty-one out of High Peak’s fifty schools have a funding shortfall and the total shortfall over the last 3 years is £5.2 million.”