Leading education organisations call on the Government to increase school and college funding

20 July 2016

ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NUT and Voice have joined together to release a statement on education funding. The statement reads as follows:

“All of our organisations believe that school funding needs to be increased as a matter of urgency. The Government is instead freezing per pupil funding for maintained schools and academies, and at the same time loading additional costs onto them such as higher employer national insurance and pension contributions. Schools and academies are also facing increased financial pressures as a result of recent government reforms to assessment, curriculum and qualifications. Teachers and school leaders fear for the future of their pupils' education.

“We know that maintained schools and academies are still struggling despite making efficiency savings – teacher and support staff posts are being lost, class sizes are rising, schools are cutting back on learning materials and many schools fear for the future unless the Government takes urgent action on the planned cuts and increased costs. 16-19 funding continues to be cut in real terms, despite the huge cuts between 2010 and 2015. All of this comes at a time of crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, with the School Teachers’ Review Body arguing that teachers need pay increases higher than the Government plans in order to address those recruitment and retention problems.

“The evidence shows that school funding is inadequate. Any reform to school funding must be based on a recognition of the need for additional funding, must be evidence-based and must result in an equitable distribution that ensures every child and young person has what they need to succeed.

“Maintained schools and academies have been hit hard by the loss of local authority support services, but the Government plans further major cuts to local authority funding. Cuts to health, social care and welfare budgets have a knock-on effect in schools and colleges.

“We also desperately need investment in our school buildings – not just to provide the additional space to cope with the huge increase in pupil numbers, but also to ensure that existing school buildings are properly maintained and refurbished. Allowing our school buildings to deteriorate will only result in major emergency remedial work further down the line, so stinting on this area of spending is a false economy.

“Education funding is the nation’s down-payment for our future, essential to developing the skills of our children and young people. Our organisations, representing the overwhelming majority of teachers and school leaders, call upon the new Prime Minister and Secretary of State to change course and give our maintained schools and academies the resources they need.”

Mary Bousted, General Secretary, ATL
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary, NUT
Russell Hobby, General Secretary, NAHT
Deborah Lawson, General Secretary, Voice
Malcolm Trobe, Interim General Secretary, ASCL