Do the state of the roads have a higher priority over children’s education?
A decision by the government to hand schools less money than is due to be spent on fixing potholes has been branded “inexplicable” by a headteachers’ union.
Philip Hammond pledged in yesterday’s budget to give schools an extra £400 million in capital grants, but this pales in comparison to the £6.7 billion needed to bring school buildings up to scratch.
The £400 million investment is also less than the £420 million offered up to fix potholes on the country’s roads, and the comparison has been lambasted by unions.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said school leaders and families will be “infuriated”.
“On one hand, he has acknowledged that school budgets are under pressure, and that hard-working families have shouldered the biggest burden of austerity,” Whiteman said. “But on the other, he has failed to find any new money to restore the £2.8bn of real terms cuts made since 2015 and done nothing to alleviate that pressure.”
He pointed to a recent acceptance by the government that schools are now expected to do more and said it was “utterly inexplicable that there was no new money for schools in this budget”.
“Instead, the best news for schools was a £400 million one-off fund for next year to help schools ‘buy the little extras’ that they may need. The school funding crisis is far too deep to be solved in this way. The average payment to a primary school will be £10,000 but primary schools have seen their budgets cut by an average of £45,000 since 2015. In secondary, the cuts have been even more dramatic.
What are your views? Should the state of the roads have a higher priority over our children’s education? Has the Chancellor got his priorities wrong?
What are your views?
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