An investigation by Cardiff Against The Cuts has revealed the damage that austerity cuts is doing to schools in Cardiff.
Real-terms cuts carried out by Cardiff Council over the last decade has resulted in fewer teachers in the city’s schools even though the number of children has risen steadily.
Cardiff Against The Cuts calculates that the number of children per teacher has increased by at least 44% over the decade. The real figure is likely to be higher because of as well as fewer teachers, there are also fewer full-time workers in schools.
This year, Cardiff Council proposes to leave schools without another £3.5 million of the funds they need to meet their rising costs, which is likely to mean more job losses in schools. Last year almost £2 million was withheld in the same way.
Cardiff Against The Cuts has been organising meetings and campaigning all over the city since the Council announced it was consulting on another £19 million of cuts, which come after almost a quarter of a billion lost so far. They are in touch with parents in Pentwyn, Pentrebane, Llanrumney, Roath, Grangetown, Splott and many other areas who are demanding the Council take a different road.
Ross Saunders, Secretary of Cardiff Against The Cuts, said, “Let no councillor claim that they are protecting frontline services in the face of these figures. Their failure to stand up to the demands of the Welsh government in Cardiff Bay and the Tory government in Westminster has meant children in our city have less time with their teachers, less support and – despite herculean efforts of school workers going above and beyond – worse education.”
Ross added, “Look at Llanrumney – it’s lost its youth centre, it’s playcentre is open for just over an hour a week, it lost a high school and earlier this month Cardiff Council wanted to shut a primary school there too! Similar things are happening across Cardiff. The Council’s claim to be creating a ‘child-friendly city’ is farcical. It would be more accurate to say Cardiff is becoming a hostile environment for children.”
Cardiff Council has over £100 million of reserve cash. Cardiff Against The Cuts calls on Cardiff Council to spend reserves in order to protect services and build a campaign to fight for more funding from the Assembly and the government. Also supporting this call has been Islwyn Constituency Labour Party, which is calling on Caerphilly council to set no-cuts budgets.