Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

“Education funding suffered a ‘lost decade’ in the 2010s with a 9% cut in real terms spending. The 2019 and 2022 Spending Rounds were a first step on the long road to repairing the damage, but a decade of underfunding cannot be repaired overnight. The Government’s refusal to adjust its plans to account for soaring inflation now means education faces a return to the bad days of austerity. 

“The National Funding Formula and Minimum Per Pupil Levels have redistributed money towards areas with less relative need. The NEU believes all schools require more funding, but this should not be at the expense of the schools with the greatest need. For all its talk of ‘levelling-up’, the Government is channeling money towards its traditional supporters.

“Class sizes are now at record levels. Primary class sizes are their highest this century, and secondary class sizes are the highest since records began more than 40 years ago. The education sector needs more money and needs it now. All children deserve to be taught in classes of fewer than 30, led by a qualified teacher.”


Note to editors

We are currently in Bournemouth for our Annual Conference (11-14 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.  

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 07879 480 061. You can also email the press officer at caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk  

Our conference agenda is available here

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU2022 

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe. 
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.