Labour makes £5 billion school funding pledge

Labour says it will ensure 'all schools have the funding they need' by rolling back cut to corporation tax

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Labour has promised to “stop the cuts to school budgets” by giving UK schools an extra £5.66 billion by 2022.

The party is pledging to pay for a real terms increase in funding and other education spending commitments by reversing the Conservatives’ cut to corporation tax.

Jeremy Corbyn will set out his proposals for building a National Education Service tomorrow morning.

The Labour leader will launch the party’s education policies for the 2017 general election at a college in Leeds, together with Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, and Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary.

Labour said it would "stop the cuts" by ensuring "all schools have the funding they need”. It has estimated this will cost £5.66 billion across the UK by the end of the next Parliament, including £4.8 billion for schools in England.

It said preventing any losses under the government’s proposed national funding formula would cost around £335 million a year.

The party said the funding increase and a range of other education spending commitments would be paid for by reversing the Conservatives’ cuts to corporation tax.

It said it would raise £20 billion through a phased increase in the headline rate of corporation tax from the current rate of 19 per cent to 26 per cent in 2020-21.

'Transforming schools'

Mr Corbyn said: “The Conservatives have spent seven years starving schools of funding, meaning headteachers are having to send begging letters to parents to ask for money.”

He added: “Labour will do things differently. Our new National Education Service will transform our schools and education system to ensure a future for the many not the few. We will reverse the Conservatives’ tax giveaways to big business and put money back where it belongs, in our schools, our colleges and our communities.”

Labour has promised to reduce class sizes to under 30 for all five, six and seven year olds. It said it would make £8 billion of capital investment available to ensure schools have the number of places they need, and a further £13 billion to ensure they are up to standard.

The party has also pledged to restore the education maintenance allowance for college students.

It said bringing back the EMA, which was scrapped by the coalition government, would come at a cost of £582 million a year.

Labour also promised to restore student grants for university students and to scrap fees on courses for adult learners looking to retrain or upskill.

It has previously pledged to pay for free school meals for all primary school children by charging VAT on private schools.

Ms Rayner said: “Our plans for a new National Education Service show there is a clear choice at this election. Between the Tories who have broken their promises to parents and children, or a Labour party with a real plan for education for the many not the few.

“We will invest in schools and in our young people, ensuring no primary pupils go hungry during the day, reducing class sizes so children can learn and teachers can teach, and restoring the maintenance allowance and grants for students in both further and higher education.”

*Tes will be hosting a general election education hustings with education secretary Justine Greening, her Labour shadow, Angela Rayner, and their Liberal Democrats counterpart, John Pugh at the Emmanuel Centre in the heart of Westminster on Wednesday the 24th of May at 6.30pm.

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