SIR - It was good to see that Julian Smith MP was congratulating North Yorkshire schools on their improved standards ('School standards in county rise, says MP', Craven Herald, April 26).

North Yorkshire has always been one of the best performing areas thanks to so many good schools and the consistent support from the local authority.

However, I think that Mr Smith needs to clarify his comments on school spending.

Have all local schools received increased funding in total and per pupil? If not, which are facing cuts and how big are the cuts in per pupil spending?

The figures that he quotes are averages and may give a misleading impression.

The problem is that this government does not have a good reputation for statistical analysis.

The National Statistics Office has reprimanded the government several times for mis-interpreting its own data.

The website shows that most schools in Skipton and Barnoldswick are facing cuts.

I will not name any schools as this may create problems for headteachers but readers can check the website.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says: “The additional £1.3 billion of funding announced in July 2017 (£900 million for 2018-19 and £400 million for 2019-20) will mean that average funding per pupil will be roughly constant in real terms over the next two years.”

The BBC Reality Check comments: “The absolute amount of money in the pot for schools in England is at record levels but once you factor in rising pupil numbers, inflation and running costs, schools will have to cut approximately 8% from budgets by 2020.”

Between 2009 and 2016, the school system expanded to take in an extra 470,000 pupils.

The Department for Education says that between 2016 and 2025 there will be a further increase in the state school system, up from about 7.4 million pupils to about 8.1 million.

Day to day funding for schools per pupil stayed at roughly the same level from 2010/11 to 2015/16, once rising prices are taken into account. After that, funding per pupil fell and since 2017/18 it has flattened out. Funding from 2017/18 to 2019/20 remains lower than 2015 levels.

The National Education Union recently stated: “Pupil teacher ratios are rising which means bigger class sizes and less attention for individuals.

"The number of staff in secondary schools has fallen by 15,000 and worse is still to come.

"Because of shortfalls in funding 91% of schools are still facing real-terms cuts despite Government announcements about more money going into the system."

So perhaps Mr Smith and Andrew Stephenson MP, for Pendle, can tell us precisely how government funding is affecting each school in our local area and why their statistics seem to conflict with other data.

I am happy to be corrected.

John Tomlinson, Dotcliffe Road, Kelbrook