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More than half of MPs agree there is a school funding crisis, reveals NAHT

Data released today (Thursday 29 November) by ComRes and school leaders’ union NAHT, shows that the majority of MPs agree that there is a funding crisis in schools.

ComRes surveyed 151 MPs anonymously, on behalf of NAHT, and found that:

  • More than half (54%) of MPs agree that there is a funding crisis in schools;
  • Just a third (33%) of MPs disagree that there is a funding crisis in schools;
  • There is a stronger sense of agreement than disagreement amongst MPs on this issue, with one third (35%) strongly agreeing, and only 7% strongly disagreeing;
  • Nearly all (96%) Labour MPs agree that there is a funding crisis in schools, compared to one in six (16%) Conservative MPs;
  • Nearly two thirds (63%) of Conservative MPs disagree that there is a school funding crisis, compared to just 1% of Labour MPs.

The data is released on the same day that both MPs and Peers debate education funding and standards in Westminster.

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said: “School leaders know there is a funding crisis in schools because they see the devastating effects of it every day; on the quality of children’s education, on teachers and staff, on school buildings and resources, and on their own mental health as they struggle to balance the books. But after years of warnings, school leaders have concluded that they are simply being ignored by government.

“This survey shows otherwise. We are winning the argument on school funding. It was a key election issue for parents and voters, and now we see that MPs themselves mostly recognise the problem. The question is: what are they going to do about it? Only new money from the Treasury can solve the funding crisis in schools, and we need MPs from every party to put pressure on the Chancellor and Number 10.

“As the party in government, Conservatives are much less likely to say there is a funding crisis in schools. It is therefore especially interesting that one in six (16%) Conservative MPs agree with the statement. Although there is a deep party split over the issue of a funding crisis in schools, the strength of belief lies in the 35% overall who strongly agree that there is a funding crisis (while only 7% strongly disagree). This suggests that while this is likely to be hotly debated, there is, on balance, more weight behind the view that there is a funding crisis than not.”

Rhian Coekin, Political Consultant at ComRes said: “We are delighted to have worked with NAHT to survey a representative panel of MPs and investigate their views about funding in schools. While the findings demonstrate that views on the issue are split along party lines, approximately half of all MPs agree there is a funding crisis in schools.”

Methodology: ComRes interviewed 151 MPs online or by self-completion paper survey between 4th and 31st October 2018. Data were weighted by party and region to be representative of the House of Commons. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at www.comresglobal.com.

Press and Media contacts:

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

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

Email : press.office@naht.org.uk