Commenting on the appointment of Nadhim Zahawi as Chancellor and Michelle Donelan as Education Secretary, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:    

"In the last eight years, we have seen seven education secretaries and five chancellors. This does nothing to imbue confidence. Not one of the education secretaries have had any experience of education - nor have they sought to work with teachers to make education better.   

"Teachers and other education staff are crying out for a shift on the issues that matter so critically in education.    

"School funding has been depressed for years; the majority of schools still have lower real terms funding than they did in 2015. Child poverty and child hunger are high and increasing. Class sizes are the highest they have been in decades. Workload - and teacher stress - remain sky high, and pay has been cut by a fifth in real terms since 2010. Recruitment and retention problems are deep rooted in this country, with government offering no solutions to retain teachers who continue to leave in droves. The current offer on pay will not shift that dial.   

"The causes of these problems are not obscure or mysterious. They are the consequence of government policy, which has worked persistently against education and the interests of teachers, parents and pupils for far too long. We welcome Michelle Donelan to the most important job in government and hope that she will make the difference.   

"Her first priority must be to press the new Chancellor to go much further on teacher pay - and on support staff and supply staff pay too - than he himself pledged a week ago.   

"The current suggestion of experienced teachers getting a 3% pay rise this year and a 2% rise next year when inflation is 11.7% is nothing like good enough.   

"If we are to avoid a strike ballot amongst the nation's teachers the government and Michelle Donelan must do much better than that." 

ENDS    

2022-138-NEU