Saturday 3 June 2017
Parents put education at the heart of the General Election. More than two in five (43%) parents with children aged 4-18 consider education and school funding as an important issue in deciding how they’ll vote.
The Conservative Government has cut school funding by £2.8 billion since 2015. According to an analysis by the School Cuts website, without substantial additional funding 93% of schools will experience a per-pupil funding cut by 2021/22. (The party pledges are broken down here.)
Every parent, teacher and school staff member knows the debilitating effect a chronic lack of money has for the quality and type of education schools can give to children and young people.
Without sufficient funds, schools will be forced to increase class sizes, drop subjects from the curriculum, or cut staff numbers. Schools are cutting spending on children with special educational needs. Buildings are going unrepaired and begging letters to parents for money are all too common practice.
That is why the National Union of Teachers has been at the forefront of the campaign against real terms school cuts – those which are hitting schools now, and those yet to come.
The interactive map at http://www.school.cuts.org,uk has been instrumental in engaging parents, teachers and other concerned voters, and, just in the past week, our campaign video has been viewed by 3.5million people on Facebook alone, and shared on Twitter and Facebook by tens of thousands. The latest relaunch of the schoolcuts.org.uk site gives school-by-school impacts according to the manifesto promises of each of the three main parties.
Today, two NUT-commissioned polls by YouGov – of 1,012 parents with school-aged children, and 755 teachers, conducted separately in May 2017 – demonstrate that the wide concern about school cuts is both real and justified. (1)
The parents’ poll sought to identify their level of concern about education in the run-up to the General Election, and questions surrounding current funding.
On the political issues facing them at the General Election:
On the issue of current school funding:
The teacher poll, meanwhile, focused on trends since 2015, when the Conservative Government was last elected.
On the key impacts:
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The findings of this YouGov poll point unambiguously to a growing crisis in our schools. Parents and teachers are already seeing the devastating effects of underfunding and the largest school cuts for a generation. The polls confirm that the NUT’s campaign on school funding is closely aligned to the concerns of both parents and teachers.
“Politicians of all parties should be aware that parents are saying school funding will influence their vote.
“Education cuts never heal and we as a country can do better. On June 8, parents, teachers and other concerned voters must consider what is most needed for schools – and which party best fits that aspiration. At this General Election it is time more than ever to vote for education.”
Poll of Parents:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,012 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18/05/17 to 29/05/17. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB parents (aged 18+) with children aged 4-18.
Poll of Teachers:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 755 teachers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16/05/17 to 24/05/17. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the teaching population by phase, region, gender and age.
YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council.