CONCERNS about the funding of schools in Aireborough and Wharfedale have been raised in Parliament.

MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) has conducted two surveys in recent months to gauge how local schools, including in Otley, Yeadon and Pool-in-Wharfedale, are faring.

Of the seven schools that responded all said they had needed to make some form of cuts since 2015 - with four making staff cuts. A survey of parents has also revealed concerns over funding levels and their impact.

Mr Sobel has now cited the issues that were flagged up at a Westminster Hall debate on school funding. Speaking at the March 4 event, he said teachers and parents were concerned about everything from a lack of teaching assistants to funding for school trips.

Reading a quote from one local school, he said: “’We cannot continue to hit the Department for Education’s expectations for pupil achievement, and take more pupils, with less staff and resources. We are at breaking point in this profession. As the council continues to make cuts in other areas, more is put onto schools. We cannot provide the support that is needed for families without the funding to do so.’”

Mr Sobel added: “The fact that schools are willing to use the term ‘breaking point’ is shocking to me and should be shocking to the Government.

“Even the most ardent Conservative must be aware that the cost to the public purse of the loss of revenue generated by reduced educational attainment in this country will be far from inconsequential, as will be the social cost of failing in the historical promise that has long linked the old to the young - that things will continue to get better.

“One constituent put it this way: ‘Between funding cuts, inaccessible exams, no support for SEN or EAL, no trips and extracurricular activities being squeezed, I see a generation being told they are failures because we are not providing the funding or resources to help anyone except the most well adapted and able pupils to achieve.’”

The Minister for School Standards, Nick Gibb MP, however, said there had been improved attainment in primary schools across several areas in recent years, including in international reading tests where pupils had achieved record scores. He also said that thousands of extra teachers, teaching assistants and support staff had been recruited since 2010.

Referring to funding, he added: “To support these improvements the Government have prioritised school spending while having to take difficult decisions in other areas.”