“Much was made in the Conservative Party leadership election of the need for more school funding. Boris Johnson made it his second pledge in the TV debate. The new Prime Minister now needs to act to implement a programme of funding that will actually make a difference to schools and colleges and addresses the years of underfunding and ensures teachers’ pay rises are fully funded.
“Schools need more than promises on the side of a bus. Schools need real money for real children in real schools now. The NEU, with the f40 local authorities group, ASCL and NAHT, has published a complete assessment of the extra funding needed to reverse the cuts made in recent years. We are proposing an immediate increase of £3bn in order to restore half of the £5.9bn current funding loss, followed by a 3.5% real-terms increase every year for the next six years. (1)
“The teacher recruitment and retention crisis is also a fundamental problem of the Government’s own making. A huge driving factor, aside from schools not having the money to employ all the educational professionals they need and the reduced real terms salary levels, is workload. The long hours worked into the evening and weekends is made up of largely unnecessary bureaucratic accountability and assessment exercises driven by Government policy and high stakes Ofsted inspections. While some steps have been taken to address this, they do not go nearly far enough.
“If the new Prime Minister does not act effectively and swiftly on these issues the education our children and young people receive will continue to be undermined.”