The Conservatives are breaking another manifesto promise, to maintain Education funding. Theresa May was in denial at PMQ’s today, but listen to those in the Education sector – the Tory proposals will mean real-time cuts to schools, with an estimated 6-11% cut in funding per pupil as reported by the National Audit Office.
With rising costs and increasing pupil numbers, fundiTng is not rising in line with inflation, and the education services grant, worth £600m, is also being cut – meaning there will be less money for local authorities or academies to provide services such as school improvement. This will only serve to worsen divides in society.
Every secondary school faces losing an average six teachers while primaries could be forced to let go two teachers as brutal Tory cuts bite, a report has revealed. School’s may be forced to start asking parents for donations to plug the gaps as they struggle to afford things as pivotal as textbooks and stationery – shamefully unacceptable for the 5th richest country in the world.
The NUT surveyed school representatives and found that:
- Nearly 75 per cent had had concerns about finances raised with them by their head teachers.
- 60 per cent said that teaching posts had been or would be lost in their schools.
- Over 50 per cent stated that classroom support staff posts, and 48 per cent stated that other support staff posts, had been or would be lost.
- Nearly 60 per cent reported existing or planned increases in class sizes.
- Over 65 per cent reported existing or planned cuts in spending on books and equipment.
- 50 per cent reported existing or planned cuts in support to pupils with Special Educational Needs and English as a second language.
- Respondents also noted a greater reliance on non-qualified teachers and teaching assistants.
‘This is no way to run our state education system…We need a levelling up of school funding not a levelling down’ – Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT
Plans for further deep cuts in funding for local authorities will also have an impact on young people. Cuts to services to schools such as school improvement, behavioural and pupil support services, music services and outdoor education as well as to services such as libraries, youth services and child protection can be expected.
Headmaster Tim Gartside said: “As education budgets are cut, it is often the extra-curricular opportunities and subjects which attract smaller pupil numbers that get squeezed first.”
Angela Rayner MP, the shadow education secretary, said the government needed to listen to its own backbenchers. “The chancellor’s chickens are coming home to roost. Tory MPs are in open revolt, schools across the country are facing cuts and heads are being forced to choose between cutting subjects, staff or school days.”
‘It would perfectly suit Tory ideology for parents to pay for sport, music, extra reading … and for state schooling to be pared to the basics’ – Laura McInerney, The Guardian.
Theresa May is putting education at risk whilst pursuing her Vanity project of building new Grammar Schools. Simon Burgess of Bristol University has provided data that shows for your child even to have a 50-50 chance of getting into a grammar school, you need to be among the top 10% wealthiest families in the country. based on that data, your family income would need to be around £90,000 a year for your child to have even a 50% chance of getting into an academic grammar school.
This is the Conservative Party pushing its divisive agenda onto schoolchildren. Simply put, it is an ideological pursuit. It will hurt out children.
Without budget cuts, less well off children are already underperforming, compared with those from wealthier backgrounds, according to a Government Social Mobility study. We have a need for more funding, not less. We need to be closing attainment gaps between the wealthy and less wealthy, not increasing them.
Our children only have one childhood and one chance of an education. It needs to be properly funded and be able to meet the needs of all pupils no matter where they live or into what circumstances they are born.
The SchoolCuts.org.uk website provides a calculator setting out how badly each school could be hit.