11 March 2017

H&F Conservatives are backing government cuts to local schools

With parents, teachers and school governors from across the political divide coming out in support of H&F Labour council's campaign to Support our Schools, you might think H&F Conservatives would put aside party differences and join in.

You'd be wrong.  

The government is proposing to slash schools’ budgets in H&F by three per cent.
  • Forty-seven of the borough’s head teachers are backing the campaign to protect school funding.
  • This comes at a time when schools face huge cost pressures from inflation, the teachers' recruitment crisis and rising business rates.  
  • For a primary school in H&F, the combined burden will be over £100,000 per year. For secondary schools, it will be much more. 

And yet Cllr Caroline Ffiske, who is the H&F Conservative opposition's spokesperson on education, calls the cuts “great”, “transparent” and “truly fair”. 

The first sign that H&F Conservative were backing the cuts came in January last year when they refused to support a straightforward Labour council motion that called for schools budgets to be protected.

The Tories ramped up their support for their government cuts this month when Cllr Ffiske wrote a blog post defending them.

Instead of calling for proper funding for all schools in the UK, Ffiske supported redistributing funds away from H&F and disingenuously advised residents to call for short-term amendments around the edges of the funding formula. 

This would do nothing to help pupils in Hammersmith & Fulham.

Ffiske even had the cheek to suggest her views were supported by the cross-party F40 campaign group, when F40 thinks the current government proposals are an ‘injustice’ and have called for a rethink.

Cllr Ffiske has proven once again that the local Tories are Conservative Party politicians who happen to live in H&F rather than genuine representatives of local residents.

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