The Chancellor said the new funding was to be spent on “that extra bit of kit that would make such a difference”. Politics Home reports.
But teaching unions reacted angrily to the announcement, saying the amount and the language used showed that Mr Hammond misunderstood the financial pressures schools were under
General secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, Chris Keates, said: “To suggest that all schools need is a nominal sum to fund the ‘little extras’ when schools have faced years of real-terms cuts to their budgets and teachers are thousands of pounds worse off from years of real-terms pay cuts is deeply insulting and disingenuous.”
Labour MP Meg Hillier,chair of the cross-party Public Accounts Committee, also rounded on Mr Hammond, saying her committee had “extensively documented the financial challenges facing critical public services such as schools, the NHS and social care”.
“With schools living through a £3 billion reduction in funding in England – unable to afford to pay for staff, and considering short weeks and a reduced curriculum to balance the books – this is simply a kick in the teeth.”
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: “The amount he has offered is barely a tenth of the £3.5 billion that the Tories have cut from capital funding year on year, leaving thousands of children in leaking and crumbling classrooms.
“Even worse, the Chancellor offered just a handful of councils less than a million pounds a year each in long-term funding for children’s services which are at breaking point, and not a single penny for Further Education or Adult Education, even as spending on skills has halved.”
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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