William Eichler 08 January 2019

Education union blasts Whitehall for ‘broken’ funding promises

The UK’s largest education union has criticised the Government for ‘failing to match’ their promises on school funding.

The education secretary Damian Hinds and Theresa May promised that ‘every school’ would get a cash increase.

However, a new analysis by the National Education Union of the Schools Block funding allocations has revealed that a quarter of primary schools (25%) and one in six secondary schools (17%) have not received more money.

‘This is yet another failure and another broken promise by Government on school funding,’ said Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU.

‘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.’

Mr Courtney added that schools and sixth form colleges have been ‘systematically underfunded’ with £2bn a year taken away since 2015.

‘This is not pin money. It cannot be retrieved by just good housekeeping,’ he said.

‘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.’

A Department for Education spokesperson responded to the NEU’s analysis by highlighting the fact that schools receive funds from sources other than Whitehall.

They also said that councils have had more money for schools from the Government in order ‘to make funding fairer across the country.’

‘Government provides this money to local authorities and they have the freedom to work with schools to allocate their budgets in a way that best suits local needs,’ they said.

‘While there is more money going into our schools than ever before, we do recognise the budgeting challenges schools face and that we are asking them to do more.

‘That’s why we’re supporting schools and head teachers, and their local authorities, to make the most of every pound.’

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