EDUCATION funding has become the latest ‘battleground’ for Parliamentary candidates in Leeds North West.

Labour’s Alex Sobel has dismissed claims by the Conservatives that they are increasing school spending as ‘fantasy’.

His criticism is based on an analysis funding that has been produced by the NEU, England’s largest teaching union.

According to the figures - available at - four out of five schools will have less money next year than they had in 2015. Mr Sobel said: “If you take into account the higher number of pupils and the rate of inflation, these claims of extra money don’t stand up. The figures show the loss of funds per pupil for each school in our area.

“In some schools in Otley and Yeadon this is quite shocking. In Yeadon, Rufford Park Primary cuts are equal to the salaries of three teachers with a colossal loss per pupil of £653. In Otley, St Joseph’s Primary has above average cuts with a loss per pupil of £265.”

Brexit Party candidate Graeme Webber said: “The real issues are the short-term requirements for increased capability and capacity in the system - including more trained teachers and modern equipment. Squabbling over statistical analysis of spend per capita is a smokescreen to hide past and present failings by all the parties.”

Stewart Harper, for the Conservatives, said: “Since 2010 there are now nearly two million more children in good or outstanding schools. But, recognising that funding hasn’t kept up in all places, the Government has committed record amounts of funding over the next four years so every pupil in every school receives more.”

Green candidate Martin Hemingway said: “Before we can start to improve public services we have to deal with the gap created by 14 years of Tory and Liberal Democrat austerity.

“The analysis by the NEU highlights the ground that has to be made up in the education sector alone, and as well as other services that have to catch up we also have to deal with the costs of the climate emergency.”

Kamran Hussain, for the Liberal Democrats, said: “We are determined to give every child the very best start and this is why we will recruit 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra £10 billion a year for schools. When we should be investing into schools the Conservatives have done the opposite.

“The extra money they’ve promised isn’t enough to reverse the cuts they’ve inflicted since 2015.”