Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union comments on Nick Gibb’s written statement to Parliament today.
“Nick Gibb’s statement today ignores the fact that recent reports from both the Education Policy Institute (EPI) and the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) have confirmed what the National Education Union has been saying for some time – education funding is in crisis. Figures published by the IFS confirm that school budgets have declined by 8% in England since 2010, and by 5% for schools in Wales over the same period.
"Under this Government, schools are experiencing severe financial hardship and having to cut the education provision for children and young people. It is misleading of the Government to claim otherwise. The proof is there for all to see: more and more schools are reporting deficits, class sizes are increasing and it’s becoming increasingly common for schools to ask parents for financial help. The Government needs to start listening, pay attention to the facts and invest in our education system. Without further investment, this crisis will only get worse, which will inevitably drive more teachers and support staff away from a profession.
"It was extremely disappointing today that there was no statement regarding additional funding for teachers’ pay. A high quality education service cannot be delivered without investing in teachers and support staff. The Government must address historic below inflation pay increases for teachers and immediately confirm a fully-funded 5% pay increase to address the growing teacher recruitment and retention crisis.
"Instead of ignoring the evidence, the Government must respond to the concerns of parents and those working to deliver the high-quality education service we all believe our children deserve.”