The Budget has sadly but predictably showed no commitment to meeting the needs of any part of the education service. Moreover it showed how completely tone deaf this Chancellor is. Schools are faced with cuts in budgets of 8% and massive increases in pension contributions are going entirely unfunded.
Against this background, the government has decided it’s appropriate to spend more on potholes than on schools. Moreover the pittance that is going to schools is apparently “to enable them to buy those little extras”. In a situation where schools are cutting staffing across the board and buildings are falling into disrepair, that kind of remark is simply outrageous.
Since 2010, the worst cuts have been suffered by colleges and sixth forms. There has been no increase in the per student rate since this government came to power. Colleges don’t even get the small gains that have gone to schools – for example schools have received a grant to enable them to pay teachers long overdue – but very modest – pay rise but not a penny has gone to colleges. At a time when there is a crying need to improve the skills base across the country, to ignore the needs of further education is to take a huge risk with the whole industrial future of the country.
The government claims to see light at the end of the tunnel. For the education service that carries very little conviction. It still believes that tax cuts for the better off and for big corporations are more important than investing in our future.
The Socialist Educational Association (SEA)