National Education Union responds to Boris Johnson's education pledge

By agency reporter
July 25, 2019

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) has commented on the incoming Prime Minister’s statements that education and school funding is at the top of his domestic agenda.

Mr Courtney said: “Our message to Boris Johnson is that, if he is serious about a domestic agenda which includes education as his top priority, we need more than just promises on the side of a bus. We need real money for real pupils in real schools.

“The NEU together with ASCL, NAHT and the f40 group of lowest-funded local authorities are calling for an additional £12.6bn by 2022/23 in order to reverse these devastating cuts and provide a standard of education that society expects. 

“This follows a calamitous era under David Cameron and Theresa May, in which real-terms funding cuts have eaten savagely into the ability of schools and colleges to fully serve the pupils and young people they teach.

“During his campaign Boris Johnson announced £4.6 billion by 2022/23, an £8 billion shortfall in what is needed. Most alarmingly there is no mention of the crisis in special needs education in his school funding plan and there is no mention of the pensions black hole that will add £1.5 billion to school costs. These are terrible and damaging oversights.

“It is vital that Boris Johnson looks again at his proposals and takes heed of our broad coalition’s comprehensive analysis. It is clear he and his party still do not fully understand the scale of the crisis facing schools. The needs of schools will grow significantly by 2022/23 because of the large rise in pupil numbers and higher school costs.  Unfortunately, the sums he is proposing are not sufficient to cope with this – so, as he said himself, it’s time to end the leadership campaign slogans and begin the real hard work.”

* National Education Union https://neu.org.uk/

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