“Headteachers, teachers, support staff and parents will be utterly dismayed by the Prime Minister’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference today, in which she did not address the school funding crisis.
“The Prime Minister referred to ‘opportunity’ for all: ‘To dream, and strive, and achieve a better life.’ For this to be a reality we need a well-rounded, well-funded education system where children and young people regardless of background are offered a vibrant and well-resourced curriculum, where class sizes are kept down, where schools can afford their full quota of staff and where they can stay open for a full week, and repair their buildings. Under current Government policies this is becoming an impossibility.
“School funding is being cut by £2 billion a year in real terms compared to three years ago. There are 66,000 more pupils in schools since last year yet there are 5,400 fewer teachers, 2,800 fewer teaching assistants, 1,400 fewer support staff and 1,200 fewer auxiliary staff. This is simply not good enough and makes the Prime Minister’s words about ‘opportunity’ for all sound very hollow indeed.”