Amber Rudd admits on Woman’s Hour per-pupil funding in England will not go up
Commenting on Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s admission* that a Conservative Government will not increase per pupil funding in England, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The fact that Amber Rudd speaking on Woman’s Hour today has admitted that per pupil funding in England will not go up is finally an admission by a Conservative Government Minister that the real-terms cuts which heads, teachers and parents have been objecting to for some considerable time are indeed a reality.
‘The Institute of Fiscal Studies has said that if the Conservative Party manifesto spending policies are adopted, there will be a reduction of nearly 7% in per-pupil funding by 2022. Research published on the schoolcuts.org.uk website shows that in reality 93% of schools will, by 2022, experience a real-terms per-pupil spending cut. How any politician can go into an election intending to do nothing about the real and pressing issue of cuts to school budgets is astounding.
‘The Home Secretary cannot have failed to hear the outcry from parents and head teachers about the problems they are facing. This is 2017. What political party feels they can ignore the fact that head teachers are reduced to asking parents for money, that they cannot afford even basic equipment, that school buildings are going unrepaired, class sizes are rising and the school day is being shortened? Many heads are resigning due to the intolerable pressures of balancing impossible budgets. All this because Government is not providing schools and colleges with sufficient funding.
‘The Conservatives need be in no doubt the campaign to reverse school cuts is not something that will go away. How can it? This is a complete dereliction of duty that impacts negatively on children and young people’s education and teachers’ workload. Many voters will be bearing this in mind when they go to the polls”.
*Discussion is from 48:07 here.
Question put: “Please could the candidates explain their proposals for per pupil funding, and please don’t talk about total spend. I’m asking about per pupil spend. I would also like to have your response to what the National Audit Office said, which is: ‘The Government’s approach to managing the risks to schools’ financial sustainability cannot be judged to be effective. There are significant risks and it cannot be sure that savings can be achieved which do not put educational outcomes at risk.’ (NAO report here)
Amber Rudd: “What we’ve said is we’ll put in another £4 billion by the end of this Parliament, per year, into schools budgets. School budgets have never been higher. Your caller is right – that won’t impact on the per pupil funding in a way she would like – but I would say to her, and to everybody else, we will continue to make sure that the standards increase so that the children get the better outcomes.”
The manifesto pledges of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties are analysed here.