Almost 90% of schools still facing cuts, says union

By agency reporter
September 27, 2017

Following the announcement on school funding by Justine Greening last week, the SchoolCuts website has calculated that:

  • 88 per cent of schools are still facing real-terms budget cuts per pupil between 2015/16 and 2019/20.
  • For the average primary school this will be a loss of £52,546 per year
  • For the average secondary school this will be a loss of £178,321 per year

As a result of the campaign by parents, trade unions, teachers, heads and support staff  to ensure schools are properly funded, the Government has found £1.3bn over the next two years from other parts of the Department for Education’s budget. This, while important, is nowhere near enough to reverse the £2.8bn in cuts that schools have suffered since 2015.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said, "Justine Greening deserves credit, but we cannot rely on her department finding more money down the back of a sofa. The Prime Minister and Chancellor must step up to the plate. They need to recognise that the overall level of education funding is totally inadequate and that this is resulting in devastating cuts. They have to invest more in schools, sixth forms and colleges. The education of our children is too important to sacrifice on the altar of austerity.”

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said, “Following the Conservative’s dire election result – in which public sector pay and school funding cuts featured heavily - Theresa May told people she would listen to them.

“Well, teaching assistants, pupils, parents and the general public are crying out for an end to school funding cuts – but it’s falling on deaf ears.

“This Government is playing a dangerous game with our children’s future. We need to reverse these onerous cuts to already overstretched education system before it’s too late.”

Paul Whiteman, NAHT General Secretary, said, “The SchoolCuts website is clear that even with the extra £1.3 billion announced by the government in July, most schools are facing unsustainable real terms cuts to budgets. This means many are at breaking point, with school leaders being forced to make difficult decisions about staffing, the curriculum and crucial services such as counselling.

"Children are losing out. The website uses government data, so this cannot be explained away as scaremongering. The Chancellor must act in the Autumn Budget to plug the £2 billion a year shortfall school budgets face. MPs from all parties have a duty to listen to parents, school leaders and teachers about what is happening in their school, and to ask the Chancellor to act. The growing crisis cannot be ignored any longer.”

Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the new National Education Union (NEU), said,The bottom line is that the Government has still not found enough funding for schools. The cuts schools are already having to make are only going to get worse, with most schools being faced with cutting subjects, increasing class sizes, cutting staffing, reducing the support for vulnerable children and providing a less rounded education for pupils.”

Jon Richards, UNISON head of education said, “Parents know there's more to a school than simply what goes on in the classroom. Behind every teacher is a whole team helping schools run smoothly, and allowing teaching staff to concentrate on the pupils.

“But the cuts ravaging education budgets have seen thousands of vital school support posts axed. The government might not value these jobs but head teachers do. 

“Once office employees have been lost, it’s harder for schools to provide a safe and secure environment for children, prevent truancy, deal with challenging pupil behaviour and administer medicines. When these tasks fall to teachers and teaching assistants, pupils are undoubtedly the losers.”

Gail Cartmail, Unite Assistant General Secretary said,We need to strongly build the case that the government’s recent funding announcement is woefully inadequate and that a generous tranche of ‘new’ money is needed to ensure that our children have the education that they deserve so that they can lead fulfilling lives and contribute to the future economic welfare of the country.

“We should also be properly rewarding our teachers and support staff as they selflessly impart their skills and knowledge to our children and students.”

* The School Cuts website has been updated to reflect the Government’s latest figures on school funding. Put in your postcode to see how schools in your area will be affected. 

*National Education Union


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