A BRADFORD MP has slammed the Government's latest spending announcement and accused it of prioritising funding for schools down South.

Speaking during a debate in the House of Commons, Bradford South MP Judith Cummins said: "Pupils in disadvantaged areas are significantly less likely to pass crucial GCSEs such as English and Maths.

"School funding must reflect different needs in different places.

"But the Government's recent funding announcement will do exactly the opposite and sees more money going to affluent schools in the South of England while so many schools in Bradford South will continue to lose out.

"How can the Minister justify this disgraceful situation?"

In response, schools minister Nick Gibb said: "Under this settlement all schools will receive more money, at least in line with inflation.

"And those schools with the highest proportion of children from disadvantaged backgrounds will receive the highest level of funding.

"Since 2011, we have closed the attainment gap by 9.5 per cent in secondary schools and by 13 per cent in primary schools."

The Government has pledged to invest more than £14 billion in primary and secondary education between now and 2022-23.

However, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) says in its analysis: "Those schools that have historically been ‘underfunded’ will see the largest increases.

"That’s likely to mean that additional funding will be disproportionately directed towards the least disadvantaged schools with the least challenging intakes, at a time when progress in closing the attainment gap has stalled and may be about to go into reverse. Schools with high levels of disadvantage are also likely to feel the greatest cost pressures resulting from increases in teacher pay."

Speaking following the debate, Mrs Cummins said: “Schools in Bradford South have been struggling to cope with Tory school cuts for almost a decade now.

"The promised funding does nothing to reverse this.

"The decision is shameful and is typical of the Tories when it comes to Bradford and the rest of the North. Prioritising rich/wealthier schools in the South does nothing to address the imbalances of the country.

"Our schools here need fair funding so we can properly invest in the next generation, giving them the skills and knowledge to do well in life.”

She recently presented petitions on behalf of two Bradford schools - Hollingwood Primary School and St John's CE Primary School - calling on funding cuts to be reversed.

They had been signed by hundreds of teachers, parents, carers and pupils.

She said: "The Tories may be talking the talk on school funding, but our schools have faced nine years of bruising cuts that can’t be reversed by a pre-election gimmick. It is our children that are suffering the consequences of these cuts."