Schools need cash injection of billions, according to Education Committee

The latest Education Committee report states that education in England needs billions to plug the funding gap

A new report by the Education Committee outlines the current financial needs of schools.

The collected evidence shows that England’s schools and colleges need a cash injection of multiple billions of pounds.

MPs on the committee also say that a long-term approach to funding is required.

The report states that education needs a £3.8bn boost to help cover the funding gap.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

This report is a damning indictment of the government’s dreadful record on school and college funding.

It rightly identifies the fact that the government’s mantra that ‘more money than ever is going into education’ has added insult to injury at a time when schools and colleges have suffered devastating real-terms cuts.

It is spot-on about the need for a long-term education funding plan which is based upon what schools and colleges actually need.

“It is a fundamental weakness of the current funding system that there is a complete disconnect between what is asked of the education system and how much money is provided by the government to meet those expectations.

The committee is also right to identify the priority of improving the level of funding for post-16 education and special educational needs as a matter of the utmost urgency.

The dire inadequacy of funding in both sectors has precipitated an absolute crisis which has severe implications for social fairness and justice.

ASCL has repeatedly called for improved education funding alongside our partners in the School Cuts Coalition and other organisations.

We have carried out detailed analysis of the money that is needed to provide every primary and secondary school with the level of funding required to meet the expectations on them, and we have worked with colleagues in other organisations to publish a long-term education spending plan.1

We are very pleased that the report of the Education Committee supports the case for sustainable improved funding, and that there is increasingly a political consensus for increased investment, but we will continue to fight for this cause until we actually see the money that the education system needs and pupils deserve.”

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, added:

“This all-party report is a vindication of the School Cuts campaign and every single teacher and parent who has called out the Government on its negligence in failing to fund schools and colleges.

“This is the Conservatives’ own mess. The question now is whether the new prime minister will listen.  Candidates have pledged extra money for education during their campaigns, but schools need more than promises on the side of a bus. Schools need real money for real children in real schools now.

“The report sets out the scale of the cuts in funding per student and the impact they have had on post-16 education, high needs funding and school funding generally.

“The report is also right to point out that the basic unit of funding (the “AWPU”) is simply not enough.

“We agree with the Select Committee that education needs a 10-year plan for funding like that for the NHS, and we have recently proposed exactly that.

“The NEU, with the f40 local authorities group, ASCL and NAHT, has published a complete assessment of the extra funding needed to reverse the cuts made in recent years.

“We are proposing an immediate increase of £3bn in order to restore half of the £5.9bn current funding loss, followed by a 3.5% real-terms increase every year for the next six years. This is the same strategy as adopted for the NHS plan.  The new prime minister must consider this alongside the Select Committee proposals.”

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