Commenting ahead of the Queen’s Speech, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“Boris Johnson's new Government has the opportunity in this Queen’s Speech to right the wrongs of successive Conservative-led Governments.

“Promises made during the election campaigning on school funding must be acted upon. Thanks to the pressure applied by the NEU, the School Cuts coalition, parents and others, the Conservatives promised a partial reversal of real terms cuts made since 2015. Delivering on this promise would be a start but not enough to ‘level up’ and secure the better education system outlined by the Prime Minister.    

“Under current Government funding plans it is a simple truth that 83% of schools will be worse off in April 2020 than in 2015 in real terms. Schools will have £2bn less spending power in 2020/21 than they did in 2015/16.

“The Prime Minister must face up to the fact that not enough teachers want to stay in the job. As a result, we have 420,000 more pupils compared to 2015 but there are 3,500 fewer teachers to teach them.

“We urge the Government to work with the NEU on strengthening its strategy for teacher pay and workload and create a fair accountability system so that we can retain teachers in the job and give every child a great start.

“As we enter a new decade, we challenge the Government to make a New Year’s resolution for schools – one that breaks from the past, and aligns with the profession and parents in valuing education.”