Commenting on today’s written ministerial statement on school funding, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:    

"This announcement is very damaging to our children’s education as it looks like this Government is returning to the bad days of austerity and away from any sense of levelling up.   

"A £1.5bn increase to school funding 2023-24 might have looked good when first announced in the 2021 Spending Review, but the surge in inflation since then means it’s a big real-terms cut for education spending.   

"Over half of schools will only receive a 0.5% per pupil increase - perhaps as much as 9% behind inflation. 22% are funded at the minimum funding level and a further 31% are funded at the rate set by the funding floor. This is a very big real-terms cut for over half of schools.   

"Even the schools getting 2.4% will be well behind inflation. This will compromise schools’ efforts to address their pupils’ wellbeing and Covid-19 recovery needs.   

"The Government needs to recognise the changed circumstances since the 2021 Spending Review and put more money into our children’s futures.   

"The NEU will reach out to parents, school governors and other unions to challenge this proposed funding settlement - it simply doesn't meet the needs of our children or our schools."