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Whiteman: Education funding promises must not be broken

Now that the Conservatives have published their General Election manifesto, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, says: “As it was in 2017, education will be one of the few issues capable of cutting through on the doorstep. All the main parties recognise this, which is why they are all pledging significant sums for schools in the future. The Conservative pledge should almost reverse the cuts schools that have endured since 2010, however we are concerned that there will be winners and losers when it comes to how this funding is distributed to schools. Even with this additional money, schools will still be looking at a 3 year real-terms funding freeze.

“With all three parties pledging additional funding for schools, we have to hope that whoever comes to office really does listen to the profession, and can deliver what it is they’re promising. Our fear is that once the big talk of the campaign trail gives way to the realities of life in government, and compromises on policy and on funding need to be made, education will be one of the public services that loses out. The remainder of our election campaign, and the early weeks of the new government in 2020 will be focussed on making sure that education is not an ‘easy target’, where promises made during the campaign are quickly forgotten when difficult decisions are being taken. School children don’t have a voice and they don’t have a vote, so we have to speak up on their behalf.”

NAHT has produced five priorities for education, which we are encouraging every party to put at the heart of their plans for government:

A fully and fairly funded education system where the real-terms cuts since 2010 are reversed and there’s guaranteed long term investment

Great teachers and leaders in every class and every school with the support, development and reward to sustain a career in education

Proportionate, reliable and fair inspection that schools and parents can have confidence in

A broad and balanced curriculum available to all pupils that gives children and young people different ways to show what they can do and properly prepares them for life

Timely and effective support from the services that children and families rely on so that all pupils get the help they need and achieve their potential

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