Budget: Education unions throw down the gauntlet

Tes is reporting that education unions have set out six “tests” for the chancellor as he prepares to unveil his Autumn Budget tomorrow.

The NEU teaching union, NAHT headteachers’ union and the Association of School and College Leaders have come together to demand that Philip Hammond comes up with more money for education.

Their demands include giving all teachers the full 3.5 per cent pay rise recommended by the government’s independent teacher pay review body, providing the money to cover this, and increasing funding for parts of the country that have historically been underfunded.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT, warned that school funding is “still a doorstep issue for voters” and said that school leaders, governors, parents and others “will continue to make their voices heard” until the Treasury provides more money.

ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton added: “Unless the chancellor takes urgent action now over the education funding crisis, the vital work that schools and colleges do will be increasingly eroded along with the life chances of all our children and young people.”

The six tests, as described by the unions, are:

  1. Reverse school cuts now: This academic year is beginning with more cuts to educational provision and more cuts to staffing in schools. The government’s announcement must ensure that every school is guaranteed at least the same money per pupil in real terms next year as when it took office in 2015.

  2. New money from the Treasury: Existing government plans mean real-terms cuts in funding and cuts in education provision. The government must announce genuinely new money for schools, not money taken from other areas of education spending. At least £2.8 billion more is required every year just to maintain funding in real terms in the face of inflation, cost increases and rising pupil numbers.

Read the other tests from the teaching unions Budget: Education unions throw down the gauntlet

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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