Friday 8 March 2019 / 12:47 PM Angela Rayner / Schools

Heads are right on school cuts

Labour analysis backs claims by 7,000 head teachers on scale of school cuts

On the Today Programme this morning, IFS figures were cited to challenge the claims by 7,000 head teachers that school budgets had been cut.

However, Labour’s analysis of IFS figures shows clearly that the headteachers are correct, and that annual spending on schools would be £1.7bn higher in 2019-20 if per pupil funding had been maintained in real terms since the Tories won a majority in 2015.

This analysis of cuts to annual funding for schools comes after the Chancellor’s announcement of a one-off fund for schools to spend on so-called “little extras” in the last Budget.

That funding was for capital funding only, and worth just over a tenth of the amount already cut from capital funding overall. Schools will not be permitted to spend it on running costs like staff pay, and the Chancellor suggested that the average school could use it for items like a “couple of whiteboards”.

 

Commenting, Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:

“The Tories have slashed school budgets for the first time in a generation, and there will now be a generation of children paying the price for austerity.

“Thousands of headteachers have raised their concerns with the Secretary of State, yet he and his Government have buried their heads in the sand. The fact is these cuts have consequences, with a curriculum narrowing and teacher numbers falling.

“Austerity in our schools must end, and the next Labour government will reverse these cuts, giving our schools the resources they need and increasing per pupil funding to a record high.”