UNISON has been campaigning about inadequate funding of education for many years. However this government’s spending plans have made the problem far worse.
Whilst claiming to protect funding, they froze the Dedicated Support Grant, which is the main block of money that pays for schools.
This means that schools have had no additional money to pay for increases in inflation, pensions or national insurance costs.
From April most schools will also have to pay a new apprentice levy too, with no additional money to cover this.
The National Audit Office (NAO) has estimated that this will mean an 8% per pupil real terms cut to schools by the end of this parliament in 2020.
We have already seen restructuring and redundancies as a result of funding pressures and this can only get worse.
The impact on the education of our pupils, such as increases in class sizes, fewer books and resources and cuts to special needs provision, is causing a crisis in our schools. On top of this, the government are proposing a new National Funding Formula (NFF).
This will result in the re-distribution of funds from school to school, without any new money being put in.
This will have a significant detrimental impact on many schools. Most of those schools that do get some extra money as a result of the changes will not get enough to outweigh the 8% loss predicted by the NAO.
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, said: “Cash-strapped schools are struggling to give children a decent education. The funding crisis means overcrowded classrooms, support staff being sacked and parents having to pay towards the cost of lessons. Children, parents and staff deserve so much better.”