Liberal Democrats in Lindley are calling on the Chancellor to protect education spending, as shocking new figures show that schools across Kirklees face cuts in their spending power of £9.2 million next year.

Councillors Cahal Burke and Anthony Smith have called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt not to make children and young people pay by cutting school and college funding further during this week’s Autumn Statement.

Recent figures by the ‘School Cuts’ campaign, run by teaching unions, reveal that schools in the Colne Valley constituency, which includes Lindley, will face cuts of £2.2 million and will have £131 less to spend per pupil next year (2023-24) compared to this year (2022-23).

In total, 41 out of 45 schools in the Colne Valley constituency will see a reduction in their spending power next year compared to this year, they say.

In the Huddersfield constituency, schools face a cut in spending power of £2.1 million, with a cut in per pupil funding of £180 next year. Schools in the Dewsbury constituency will face a £2.5 million cut, with £144 less to spend per pupil and in Batley & Spen, schools face a £2.4 million cut, with £142 cut in spending per pupil.

The figures estimate the true spending power that schools have, after increases in teacher salaries, pensions, tax and non-staff costs have all been taken into account.

Clr Smith said: “Under this Government, schools must choose between teaching children or heating classrooms.

“Headteachers are warning that they will have to cut teaching assistants, mental health support and school clubs in order to make ends meet.”

His ward colleague Clr Burke added: “As a party, we know that a fair deal for Colne Valley and other constituencies across Kirklees means investing in our children’s futures.

“Parents and teachers will be rightly angry if the Chancellor announces more cuts to schools and colleges.”