Education Policy Institute (EPI) on cuts to school budgets

17 March 2017

Commenting on the findings of the EPI’s report, The Implications of the National Funding Formula for schools, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The EPI recognises the fact that a combination of the National Funding Formula and the cash freeze on school budgets will have a negative impact on schools.

‘It however fails to understand that a combination of the NFF and the funding cuts is unworkable and unfair. MPs, including the former Chancellor George Osborne, school governors, parents and head teachers have all made it quite clear that the NFF will not work without extra resources. Schools and colleges in deprived and rural areas will be the hardest hit, many will simply face closure.

‘The Government’s argument that schools in deprived areas have received additional funding and this anomaly now needs to be addressed by reducing their budgets makes no educational sense. Schools in disadvantaged areas clearly need additional money to cope with the additional needs of pupils. The NFF will simply spread an insufficient amount of money around the country resulting, as the EPI points out,  in all schools becoming losers with real terms cuts to their pupil funding.

‘This is no way to run our state education system. We are one of the richest countries in the world yet the Government sees fit to run our education system on a shoe string budget, failing to understand that education is a crucial area of investment for our country. We need a levelling up of school funding not a levelling down.

‘Make no mistake parents and school communities will not accept these school cuts. To do so would be vastly reducing the educational experience of our children and young people. They 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 NUT is calling on the Government for a restitution of the proposed £3billion real term cuts to schools. Once it has done so, it should embark upon the exercise which should have been its starting point for these proposals – a consideration of the actual funding needed by schools to  deliver education for pupils in an effective manner.”

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