By the time you are reading this Chancellor Phillip Hammond will have delivered his first budget speech in the House of Commons.
Like many MPs, I had my own budget wish list, and spending on health and social care were right at the top, along with education and the need to ensure we give our young people the chance of the best possible start in life.
However, what seems to have slipped under the radar in the aftermath of Brexit and the almost daily reported ‘crisis’ in health and social care, has been what the teaching unions are calling “potentially catastrophic” cuts in education budgets.
Both the NUT and ATL have published figures claiming that between now and 2020 more than £3bn will be cut from the money allocated to English schools and pupils, putting hundreds of teaching posts at risk. Significantly, their figures have been supported by the National Audit Office.
In Northumberland the Tory government proposals would cut £13m from school budgets, there would be an average of £347 less spent on each pupil, and around 350 teaching posts would be at risk.
The figures for individual schools in Wansbeck can be viewed at www.schoolcuts.org.uk and following the links to schools attended by your children. As examples Ashington High School would see its budget slashed by £531,949, with £515 less per pupil and 14 teaching posts affected. Cambois, one of our smaller schools, would have its budget cut by £32,494, £570 less per pupil, and one teaching post would be in jeopardy.
I have launched a campaign against these callous cuts with the support of my Shadow Cabinet members and trade unions.
I would urge parents, grandparents and guardians of youngsters at Wansbeck schools to follow me on Twitter @ianlaverymp and join the #schoolsjustwannahavefunds campaign for fairer funding.
Your support could be vital.