Government accused of breaking school funding promise

All schools had been promised a funding increase

Children at school development centre

The government has been accused of “broken promises” after thousands of schools did not receive the increases to school funding promised in last year’s budget.

Analysis by the National Education Union (NEU) found that 4,819 schools received no funding increase – despite Damian Hinds and Theresa May promising that “every school” would do so.

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

This is yet another failure and another broken promise by Government on school funding. The fact remains that schools were never going to manage on the money promised by Government.

However, head teachers, teachers, school staff and parents will be dismayed that even the meagre amounts of funds supposedly allocated to schools will not be received by everyone. Parents and school staff simply cannot trust what the Government says on education funding.

Schools and sixth form colleges have been systematically underfunded with £2bn a year taken away from them since 2015. This is not pin money, it cannot be retrieved by just good housekeeping.

Up and down the country schools are increasing class sizes, reducing teachers and school staff, cutting subjects from the curriculum and leaving building repairs undone.

Ask any parent and they will tell you that begging letters for financial support are now commonplace. The School Cuts campaign, alongside parent groups and MPs, will continue in 2019 to argue the case that our children’s education is vital. For it to be of the quality and breadth that we expect, it needs funding to match that expectation.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education added:

The Tories have cut billions of pounds from our schools, which have seen their budgets falling for the first time in a generation.

With rising pressure on class sizes and teachers leaving in droves, a generation of children is paying the price for Tory failure.

The next Labour government will invest in a National Education Service, ending Tory cuts to our schools and increasing per pupil funding in real terms.

The NEU found that 25% of primary schools and 17% of secondary schools will receive no increase in funding despite schools’ costs rising.

Cuts to school funding have angered both teachers and head-teachers whose unions are considering holding an “unprecedented” joint strike.

Joe Lo is a freelance journalist and a reporter at Left Foot Forward.

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