Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney are Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union (NEU). This is a sponsored post by the NEU.
Education funding rocketed up the political agenda during this year’s general election campaign. A Survation poll found that some 750,000 people changed their vote primarily on the basis of concerns about education funding.
The School Cuts campaign – launched last year by the NUT and ATL and supported by NAHT, Unison, GMB, and Unite – has been highlighting the impact of funding levels on each school and college, playing a vital role in helping get the issue noticed.
In July, the Government announced an additional £1.3 billion over two years for schools. This was an achievement for our campaign – but with this money being taken from elsewhere in the education budget, and no extra money being found for colleges or early years, it is still nowhere near enough. Schools have already seen their funding cut in real terms by £2.8 billion since 2015 and, with inflation rising, we estimate that, even after this limited cash injection, school funding will be worth £6.8 billion less in real terms in 2019-20 than in 2015-16.
Earlier this month, Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education, announced the final details of her new funding formula for schools. With so little extra cash available to support its introduction, the impact on schools will be severe:
- 88 per cent of schools are still facing real-terms budget cuts per pupil between 2015/16 and 2019/20, even after any gains from the new formula.
- 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.
The School Cuts website – www.schoolcuts.org.uk – has been updated to reflect the Government’s latest figures on school funding. Please head over to the website, put in your postcode and see exactly how badly schools in your area will be affected.
The Chancellor must act in the Autumn Budget to plug the shortfall that 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.
That’s why we want every MP to be lobbied in Parliament on Tuesday, 24 October. Find out more about our lobby and plans and get involved at https://neu.org.uk/funding
The growing crisis in education cannot be ignored any longer.