UP TO £2m will be slashed from grants that fund everything from music to tackling struggling schools, in new cuts to hit Bradford next year.
Protests – from town hall leaders and even cellist Julian Lloyd Weber – have failed to halt a £200 million reduction to the education services grant (ESG).
The decision means Bradford City Council will lose around £1.97m in 2015/16, although the exact sums have yet to be announced.
And likely reductions in Kirklees of £1.37 million, £560,000 in Calderdale and £2.33 million in Leeds bring the total cuts across the district to £6.23 million.
Councillor Ralph Berry, Bradford’s Cabinet member for education, branded the cuts “illogical”, at a time when councils are under growing pressure to intervene in problem schools.
The so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ controversy has piled criticism on town halls that fail to spot evidence of religious ‘extremism’, promoted by school governors.
In recent weeks, the city council has sacked boards of governors and set up interim executive boards (IEBs) in two schools criticised by Ofsted.
Cllr Berry said: "This is an illogical policy which will take away resources that we require to challenge and support schools, just when that’s rising up the agenda.
"It takes no account of the facts on the ground, when a growing number of academies need improvement as well, but we will do the best we can."
The grants also pay for extra-curricular activities, including clothing, outdoor education, visual and performing arts and music education.
Mr Lloyd Webber had branded the proposed cuts "crazy", warning that cash-strapped local authorities were already struggling to provide music education to pupils.
He said: "We really need to rise above this 'will we get funding this year, will it come next year'. It should be taken as read that our children learn music."
Cllr Berry added: "We are doing relatively well in protecting music, but Julian Lloyd Webber is right – there is a danger that only the best-off will take part in these things."
The ESG will be cut from £113 for each pupil at a local authority school to £87, the department for education (Dfe) announced.
Academies – which fund the services themselves – will have their budgets “protected” for a number of years, before the ESG falls into line.
Schools minister David Laws admitted the cuts would be "challenging", but added: "We have had to make some tough decisions."
Mr Laws said the Government was spending £390m on music education between 2012 and 2016, channelled into 123 ‘music hubs’.
He added: "We have ensured the core schools' budget and the pupil premium is protected in real terms up to 2015/16."