Stephanie Challenges Education Secretary

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 4th October, Stephanie has challenged the Education Secretary over funding proposals after nearly a third of teaching assistants and school support staff in Barnsley’s schools have been lost under the Government.

The exchange with the Government’s education chief Gavin Williamson in the House of Commons came following a funding announcement, which the Barnsley MP sought assurances would not come at the expense of further losses to school support staff.

Peacock asked for a firm commitment from the Education Secretary to ‘rule out funding his plans by cutting school support staff further’.

Williamson’s response included simply that ‘he does not determine staffing levels’.

Commenting, Stephanie said:

“Schools and teachers in Barnsley do incredible work giving young people in our community an education and chance to get on in life, but have been forced to do so amidst unprecedented cuts to resources and support staff.

“Any increase to school funding is welcome, but must not come at the expense of already depleted resources.

“After support staff and teaching assistants have fallen by almost a third in Barnsley, the Education Secretary did little to allay fears more could be lost under this Government’s continued obsession with austerity.”