THE SHADOW education secretary has refused to commit a future Labour government to introducing fairer funding for city schools.
Tristram Hunt MP was speaking during a visit to Worcestershire last Thursday (February 13), which included a tour of The Hive.
Pupils in Worcester and the rest of Worcestershire receive £1,000 per pupil less than those in neighbouring Birmingham despite having higher levels of deprivation.
The county is 147 out of 152 in the school funding table and a member of the F40 group which has continually campaigned for a fairer funding deal for students.
The Conservatives pledged to finally resolve the issue by introducing a new national funding formula but nothing will now happen until after the next General Election, should the party retain power either outright or as part of a coalition.
But when asked if Labour would offer a similar commitment Mr Hunt said they were waiting for a government report on the issue.
“We will wait to see what comes out of the national funding formula discussions, I can’t make any spending commitments here and now we have a zero base spending review, but I certainly understand the frustrations people feel,” he said.
“There are all sorts of difficulties schools face with their budgets, but you also see today it is not all about money it’s about leadership, it’s about ethos, it’s about aspiration and we want to help that as much as possible and money plays an important part.”
During his visit to the city’s £60million library and history centre, Mr Hunt spoke to teaching students from the University of Worcester before meeting head teachers to discuss school standards.
He added: “It is has been really inspiring listening and talking to teaches on the training course.
“What we see here at the University is some academy grounding in how to be a teacher and I have been in a school in Redditch this morning seeing how they are coping with curriculum changes and making sure they are giving young people the aspiration and academic excellence and I am sure the teachers I have met here will provide the same.”