Commenting on Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report, Financial sustainability of schools in England, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

"This report from the PAC highlights problems in the education system that are long standing and have seriously hindered the ability of schools to give every child the education they deserve. Findings point to the larger proportion of maintained schools in financial difficulty compared with academies, and quite rightly criticises the Department for Educations failure to understand why this is happening. 

​'To get around shortfalls in finances schools have had to balance the books by making decisions that no head teacher wants to make such as cutting educational provision, increasing class sizes, cutting subjects and removing support for pupils with special needs. Add to this the fact that more deprived schools are in greater financial difficulty than schools in more affluent areas it is clear children's education is being compromised. 

'It is welcome that PAC has instructed the DfE to investigate the committees concerns that some academy trusts appear to be hoarding money rather than spending it on education and has instructed the Department to investigate. 

'The report could not be more damming of special needs education. The fact that children most in need of support are being failed by a system that is poorly funded and resourced is a dereliction of duty and needs to be addressed. 

'The NEU has been raising the same concerns as the PAC for several years. It is high time the Government reverses the cuts made to school funding since 2015. English schools now have the largest primary class sizes this century and secondary class sizes are the highest for more than 40 years. Children and young people deserve better". 

ENDS 

2022-034-NEU