The personal learning network for educators
Horror show of a budget for schools!
I genuinely believe in the democratic processes we have in this country but the Chancellor’s failure to respond to lobbying from parents and school leaders whilst clearly responding to the lobbying of his peer party MP’s makes you wonder how fair the system is.
This was clearly a budget primed to prepare the road for a journey to the next general election. Stay with me whilst I extend the road metaphor although I know you probably know what is coming. Putting more money into potholes in the road to soothe the worries of middle England that their journeys will be less bumpy, whilst failing to provide any funding that can be used to support children, says everything that you need to know.
Quite simply children don’t vote so they don’t count. However parents do, and increasing numbers of parents are waking up to the damage that successive years of government cuts to schools are having. If the government won’t listen to the warning signs from school leaders maybe they’ll listen to parents at the ballot box.
One thing I can assure Philip Hammond, is that failure to fund education adequately will create more of a rough ride for the government than a few potholes.
In context, the amount the Chancellor offered schools is 1/10th of what they need to stand still. The Institute for Fiscal Studies now believe there is a shortfall of £6.7 billion in school funding. £10,000 for “the little extras” such as a watertight roof and secure premises does nothing to address the needs of a child who relies on the support of a Teaching Assistant to be able to access learning and who now won’t be able to access their learning because that Teaching Assistant has been made redundant.
Whilst the chancellor was joking with his friends about toilets, there were school leaders calculating how many staff this means they are now going to lose because they haven’t got the money to pay them.
The government keep coming out with their self soothing line of “more money in education than ever before” but this has now been completely exposed as not being factually accurate. Whilst they continue to be in denial about the state of school funding, schools will continue to lose staff. This will affect every child in the country because this is a nationwide issue.
Phillip Hammond’s refusal to fund schools in any way adequately, reveals either a lack of understanding of the issues around school budgets or he simply doesn’t care. Neither are places where our Chancellor of the Exchequer should be!