Education budget boost by Swansea Council

Labour-led council delighted to provide schools with extra £2.2m of funding

Swansea Labour is committed to educational improvement which has been proved by the extra money they are pumping into schools in 2018/19.

Though the council has to find £22m in savings next year due to Tory austerity measures the Labour-led administration will continue to prioritise provision for schools and pupils.

The council has published its proposals for next year’s budget with the public then getting a chance to have their say ahead the final decision next February.

Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Indications are there will be no increase in funding for schools from central government next year in spite of the significant cost pressures that they will face.

“We have recognised that this places a huge burden on their finances as around £3.7m is needed simply to meet the cost of funding teachers’ pay awards, an anticipated rise in pupil numbers and other inflationary factors.

“With every service under severe pressure the council cannot make-up this shortfall alone but we are proposing an increase of £2.2m in the core funding of schools which equates to almost 60% of these major cost pressures.

“If we do receive any extra funding for schools in the final settlement from central government then we will also pass this on directly to the schools in full.

“This demonstrates that once again we are maintaining our pledge to prioritise school funding above all other services but it is becoming increasingly difficult year after year.”

Swansea Council are also working with the Welsh Government to pledge £149.7m on improving school buildings in the coming years as part of the next phase of the 21st Century Schools Programme.

Council leader Rob Stweart said: “The benefits are being felt by children, by older people and by the most vulnerable in our communities because we’re ploughing into frontline services a bigger percentage of available money than ever before.

“We still hope that there will be an end to the austerity agenda, but until that happens all councils are facing extremely difficult challenges. Despite the difficulties, independent inspections of our schools, social care and finance services show we are performing very well.”

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