by Marcus Barnett
Morning Star | January 07, 2019
THOUSANDS of schools are struggling financially because the government has failed to live up to funding promises that were already “woefully inadequate,” a teachers’ union claimed today.
Education ministers have not even matched past promises on funding that were already not good enough, new analysis by the National Education Union (NEU) shows.
Prime Minister Theresa May and Education Secretary Damian Hinds promised last year that “every school” would receive a cash increase in their funding as part of a “new national funding formula” that would protect the funds of additional needs schools but would also take account of the financial pressures that “regular” schools are facing.
However, government statistics released on December 17 show that this promise has been broken for 25 per cent of all primary schools and 17 per cent of all secondary schools.
Overall, 4,819 schools received either no cash increase or suffered a direct cut to their funding, despite the fact that the costs of maintenance and equipment at schools have shot up dramatically.
On May 23 during Prime Minister’s questions, Ms May claimed that “the new national funding formula is providing for a cash increase for every school in every region, as well as protected funding for those with additional needs.”
The NEU has called for ring-fenced funding for all schools against potential rising costs.
NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “This is yet another failure and another broken promise by this government on school funding.
“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.
“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.”
Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner echoed Mr Courtney’s concerns, adding: “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.”