Commenting on a report published today which highlights a lack of funding for the Department for Education at the Spending Review, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

"The Treasury Committee report is very clear - school funding is at woefully low levels. Since 2010, education spending has not kept up with school costs and the increasing number of pupils which is why class sizes are now so high. Primary class sizes are at their highest this century and secondary class sizes are at their highest since records began in 1978, and there are almost a million pupils being taught in classes with more than 30 pupils.

"This is an inadequacy of the Government's own creation, making it impossible for schools and colleges to deliver the education system which children, young people and parents expect. 

"The pandemic has put further strains on school budgets. The Government rejected the proposals of its own catch-up tsar, Sir Kevan Collins, who called for a £15 billion recovery plan. Rishi Sunak's substitute offer of just £50 per pupil per year made a laughing stock of the Government's claim to be on the side of education and young people. But the reality of such relentless underfunding is no laughing matter.

"Running an education system on empty is a political choice that this Government has made, and for which they must be held to account. We need to see restoration of funding to all schools to at least the level of 2015-16, and there must be a serious funding commitment for education catch-up to ensure every child has the education they deserve."


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