ACCUSATIONS of underfunding in Radcliffe schools have been dismissed by Bury Council’s ruling Labour group following a disagreement over budget figures.

A freedom of information request submitted by Aaron Hepworth, founder of the Radcliffe Independence party, revealed the township receives £13 million in school funding.

This is equivalent to 9% of the total £145.9 million education budget distributed across the whole borough – something Mr Hepworth says suggests “systematic underfunding”.

But Cllr Gill Campbell, cabinet member for children and families, has dismissed the accusations – pointing out the fact the money is distributed on a per-pupil basis.

She said: “Schools funding has nothing to do with how many people live in an area.

“Funding follows the pupil, therefore all schools receive the same per pupil funding irrespective of where in Bury they are located.

“Young people living in Radcliffe are not at any disadvantage in terms of the funding that is provided for their education wherever they choose to go.”

Cllr Campbell said Radcliffe’s young people benefit from access to excellent schooling with a recent Ofsted report revealing the borough has the highest proportion of pupils in the North West attending good or outstanding secondary schools.

Mr Hepworth said: “Radcliffe accounts for just under 20% of the borough’s population but we are only getting 9% of the school funding.

“This is systematic of what happens in Radcliffe and how we are underfunded – this is almost 10% of the budget we should be getting and are not.

“Once again, this makes the case for Radcliffe to have independence.”