£3bn of savage education cuts


CHILDREN will pay a terrible price for £3 billion of savage Tory school budget cuts, education unions warned yesterday.

State schools in England will have to find £3bn in ‘savings’ by 2019-20, said the National Audit Office (NAO) yesterday. The Department for Education is about to launch a new funding formula, which will see 10,000 schools losing money, with warnings that it will mean reduced budgets, especially for schools in inner London and other large cities.

Education Secretary Justine Greening announced the change yesterday, with five head teachers’ and teachers’ unions issuing a joint statement saying schools face the ‘biggest real-terms cuts in a generation’.

Malcolm Trobe, head of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: ‘We are deeply concerned that the life chances of young people are being put at risk by the government’s under-funding of education.’

A joint statement from heads’ and teachers’ unions ASCL, NAHT, NUT, ATL and Voice said that schools ‘urgently need additional investment’. ”We are already seeing job losses, increased class sizes and cuts to courses in our schools and colleges,’ it said.

Sharon Wilde, GMB National Schools Organiser, said: ‘Our education system needs real investment for all schools.

‘The government has the wrong strategy yet again – this robbing Peter to pay Paul policy does not work in education and it is our children who will suffer. GMB support staff, our hidden professionals in schools, are already struggling to juggle the demands that are asked of them and face further pressure if budgets are squeezed.

‘This government, and this education secretary, have repeatedly demonstrated that, where education is concerned, they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.’

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: ‘Far from being the levelling up that some councils and heads have demanded, this is a levelling down. Even the schools currently worst funded will see real terms cuts in this Parliament.’

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: ‘A real danger of the government’s National Funding Formula proposals is that they will reduce or remove vital support for pupils from poorer backgrounds and those from families which are just about managing.’