MORE than 500 parents across Carlisle have signed a petition against school funding cuts in the county.

It comes after weeks of campaigning by the Carlisle Socialist Party, who have held stalls in the city centre to share details with locals on the cutbacks made to the local education provision.

The signatures were handed to the city’s Labour Party candidate Ruth Alcroft by Socialist Party members Robert Charlesworth and Brent Kennedy last week.

The handover of names were made ahead of a public election meeting, which will be hosted by the Socialist Party today.

Speaking about the cuts, Mrs Alcroft said: “Schools and teachers have been campaigning in Cumbria since 2017 about the cuts to their budgets.

“I’ve worked in education all my adult life and never before have I seen headteachers speak out in public to tell parents about the reality of funding for their children’s school - this is a sign of the pressure they are under.

“This Tory government has wilfully and continually misrepresented the funding figures.

“Although funding has gone up, the rising costs to schools and the increase in pupil numbers means that each pupil in Carlisle will have lost £239 of spending between 2015/6 and 2020/21 (Source: School

“In fact, the education secretary, Damian Hinds, was publicly rebuked by the UK Statistics Authority for his department’s repeated misuse of data (Source: Guardian 8.10.18).

“For schools, this means bigger classes, fewer teachers or teaching assistants, fewer resources and less opportunity for small group or catch up work. These cuts hurt the ones that need it most.

“I am proud of the Labour manifesto for education.

“We have committed not only to properly funding schools, not only to removing the stress of SATs and Ofsted to focus on delivering education that is meaningful to each student and trusts teachers, not only to keeping class sizes below 30 throughout primary school, but also to ‘poverty proofing’ schools, introducing free school meals for all primary school students, encouraging breakfast clubs and tackling the cost of school uniforms.”

  • The other candidates standing in Carlisle are: John Stevenson (Cons), Julia Aglionby (Lib Dems) and Fiona Mills (UK Independence Party).