Aberconwy AM, Janet Finch-Saunders, weighs into school funding cut debate

Original by Patrick Glover, North Wales Pioneer - https://www.northwalespioneer.co.uk/news/17484579.aberconwy-am-janet-fi…

Aberconwy AM, Janet Finch-Saunders, is the latest person to throw her support behind Conwy county schools she said have been crippled by funding cuts.

 

Conwy County Borough Council's (CCBC) budget will see about a four per cent cut made to education funding which equates to figures of more than £400,000 for some of the county’s 60 schools and resulting in teacher redundancies.

A letter, co-signed by headteachers in Conwy, has been sent out to all parents informing them of the “make or break” situation schools in the county were faced with.

While more than 250 people attended a protest at Queens Park, Colwyn Bay, on Saturday, March 2, speaking out against the education funding cuts.

Now Mrs Finch-Saunders, who is also the shadow minister for children and young people, has spoken out in anger at the Welsh Government’s refusal to set up and emergency fund for schools teetering on the edge.

She said: "There is a classroom cash crisis in our educational system across Wales.

"For example, Conwy is to see a 3.2 per cent cut as a result of such a poor Welsh Government settlement for 2019/20.

"Whilst Kirsty Williams AM, education minister, continues to be in denial, teachers, parents, and children know the reality.

"Indeed, last Saturday hundreds joined together to fight for our children’s future.

"It is fact that their education is under threat. Leaders in education are saying this, such as the seven secondary school head teachers here in Conwy who have explained that any further cuts will result in consideration being given to increasing classes sizes, making teachers and assistants redundant, and reducing support for children and young people with additional learning needs.

"This crisis is unsustainable, so I used this week’s Questions to the First Minister to call for an emergency fund to be set up to help cash crippled schools.

"Astonishingly, the Welsh Government refused.

"Indeed, they are satisfied to continue spending more than £600 less per pupil than the Government spends in England.

"When considering that for every £1 spent there, £1.20 is sent here, there really is no justification as to why an emergency fund cannot be established to help the schools most in need.

"I will not accept this refusal, so have already responded to the Welsh Government asking for reconsideration of my proposal."