Gareth Thomas MP outside school
Gareth Thomas MP outside school

Labour today lambasted “the Conservatives’ staggering mathematical incompetence” which will see schools in Harrow lose £1,677,795 next year.

The Department for Education last month admitted to miscalculating the amounts of funding due to be granted to state schools in England next year, copping to a £370m error in the information they gave schools in July.

Analysis of updated funding figures released today by Labour has found that schools in Harrow will be on average £1,677,795 worse off next year due to the Conservatives’ school budget maths bungle. Labour’s analysis found that:

  • Schools in London are set to be £35,715,483 worse off in total, close to the average cut of £37 million.
  • Schools across the Harrow local authority area are set to be worse off by £1,677,795 in total

Labour said the latest gaffe at the Department for Education will cause yet more pain for schools already struggling to balance budgets after years of uncertainty over long-term funding and threatened to further weaken the relationship between local schools and families.

The Party said that trust in the schools system was already at breaking point due to the days of learning missed by children in recent years.

Labour pointed to the decisions taken by the Conservatives to open pubs before schools during covid, to prolong strike action by refusing to negotiate with trade unions and to cut funding for school rebuilding, leading to the dangerous RAAC concrete crisis which has affected hundreds of schools, causing many to shut their doors.

Shortly after revealing the error, Conservative Education Secretary Gillian Keegan raised eyebrows by claiming that her Party’s stunning by-election defeats in Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth “did not show a swing to Labour”. The swing to Labour in Tamworth was 23.9 per cent, while the swing to Labour in Mid Bedfordshire was 20.5 per cent.


Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West said:

“This is one of a long line of examples where the Department for Education (DfE) has let down young people and their parents in Harrow.

Before this muck-up, Harrow schools were already expected to face a £5 million cut, or an average cut of £145 per pupil for 2023-24.

Harrow has already missed out on three applications for a SEN school, despite meeting all the requirements for one. This is leaving Harrow with huge costs, as a consistently high number of pupils with SEND cannot have their needs met in Harrow schools and are subsequently educated in independent schools at a high cost to Harrow Council.

It’s no wonder that the relationship between families, schools and government is at rock bottom – education simply isn’t a priority for the Conservatives.”


Gareth Thomas MP’s petition for funding of Harrow’s schools, especially in the urgent case of SEN provision can be found here:


 Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Rishi Sunak wants young people to learn maths to 18, but he ought to get his own house in order first and teach Conservative Education Ministers how to count.

“Ministers’ staggering mathematical incompetence follows hot on the heels of disruption caused by the Conservatives which has pushed our schools to breaking point.

“Labour’s priority will be to put education at the heart of national life again, and to rebuild the trust between schools, families and government so that we can drive high and rising standards in our classrooms, supporting children to achieve and thrive.

“We will start by recruiting 6,500 more teachers and put mental health counsellors in every secondary school, paid for by ending private schools’ tax breaks.”



Notes to Editors


  • Labour’s analysis of changes to school budget allocations can be found attached.


  • A table compiling the total cuts to school budget allocations by region can be found below.


Region Total Cuts (-)
East Mids £33,472,873
East of England £44,145,053
Inner London £8,363,169
Outer London £35,715,483
North East £18,512,167
North West £53,348,157
South East £61,715,181
South West £36,028,775
West Mids £42,599,135
Yorkshire and Humber £38,723,155


The National Education Union has also released figures showcasing the cuts to Harrow schools and per pupil funding this year here:

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