WESTON-super-Mare LibDems are calling on the Chancellor to protect education spending amid claims schools in the area face cuts in their spending power of £1.5million next year.

Local LibDem councillors are urging Chancellor Jeremy Hunt not to make children and young people pay for what they see as the Conservatives’ botched mini-budget by cutting school and college funding further in this week's Autumn Statement.

Figures, published last week by the ‘School Cuts’ campaign run by teaching unions suggest schools in the Weston-super-Mare constituency will have £98 less to spend per pupil next year (2023/24) compared to this year (2022/23).

In total, 31 of the area’s 38 schools will see a reduction in their spending power next year compared to this year, concludes the campaign.

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

Overall, nine in 10 schools across England will have less spending power next year compared to this year and more than two in three schools in England will have a lower spending power next year than in 2015.

Cllr Mike Bell, LibDem deputy leader of North Somerset Council, 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.

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

LibDem Parliamentary spokesperson Cllr Patrick Keating said: “The Conservatives are planning more public spending cuts to pay for their own economic incompetence.

"School trips are already being axed, teaching assistants are being laid off and urgent classroom repairs are being ignored.

“Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt must confirm urgently that they will not cut real-terms funding for schools and colleges during this week’s Autumn Statement.

"The Conservatives must not balance the books on the backs of our children and young people.”