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Budget 2018: More money for potholes than pupils is inexplicable, say school leaders

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The Chancellor’s remarks in the Budget will have infuriated school leaders and families. On one hand, he has acknowledged that school budgets are under pressure, and that hard-working families have shouldered the biggest burden of austerity. 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.

“The government accepts that schools are expected to do more. They also acknowledge these new demands cost more money than before. They also cannot have failed to notice the steady procession of school leaders, governors, parents and others campaigning for more money for schools. It is therefore utterly inexplicable that there was no new money for schools in this budget.

“Instead, the best news for schools was a £400m 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.

“The government is spending about the same on pupils as it is spending on potholes (£420m) and half what it proposes to spend on defence (£1bn). Schools and young people are most definitely much too far down the government’s list of priorities, and for schools and young people, austerity is most certainly not over.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

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