Headteachers have expressed their dismay at the lack of extra funding in today’s Spring Budget, which, they say, could have been a chance for the chancellor to help schools.
Unions yesterday called for chancellor Rishi Sunak to prioritise school funding in the Budget, including with a long-term plan for Covid catch-up and more cash for free school meals and to cover Covid costs.
Yet no such commitments were made by the Treasury today.
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Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Education was scarcely mentioned despite the government’s insistence that it is a national priority. This Budget was a missed opportunity to back up warm words with a concrete spending plan.”
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He added: “It is disappointing that in a Budget focused on national recovery after the Covid pandemic so little mention has been made of the role of education.
“We believe that education is a vital part of the national recovery and that the chancellor should have used this Budget to set out the government’s spending plan for catch-up support over the remainder of this Parliament.”
Following today’s Budget, a leading educational research organisation has also called for more financial support for schools.
Meanwhile, Kevin Courtney, joint-general secretary of the NEU teaching union, said it was "disappointing" that the government continues to ignore the funding pressures the education sector faces.
"The government has said schools are a “national priority”, yet this Budget has provided schools with no new resources to manage coronavirus," he said.
"Once again this government has failed to pay attention to the educational professionals who see first-hand, every day, the detrimental impact under-funding of our education system has on the children and young people they teach or care for."
The Department for Education has been contacted for comment.