Less school funding under Boris Johnson, Labour claim

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner voices concerns in House of Commons that Boris Johnson would spend less on education than Theresa May

Tes Reporter


Boris Johnson's spending plans could leave pupils missing out – and a "much-needed" schools funding formula could be delayed because of Brexit planning, Labour has warned.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner raised concerns that the national funding formula will be "delayed by the Treasury in order to reserve money for a no-deal contingency fund".

She called on the government to guarantee a timetable for the "much-needed" formula.

Figures: School cuts estimate doubles to 8 per cent

Analysis: New PM likely to make new push for grammar schools

Read: Two-thousand heads march 'in anger and frustration'

Earlier this month, former foreign secretary Boris Johnson pledged that thousands of schools would get “much more per pupil”.

However speaking in the House of Commons today, Ms Rayner said Tory leadership frontrunner Mr Johnson's schools spending plans could leave pupils in a worse position, with less funding than had been promised.

Ms Rayner told MPs they are less than currently promised in the Conservative manifesto.

She said: "I'm not sure we're any wiser about the outgoing prime minister's plans, so let me turn to the future.

"The leading candidate, the blond one, not the bland one, promised us a minimum funding of £5,000 per pupil.

"But can you confirm this is under £50 million a year, an increase of just 0.1 per cent of the total schools budget?

"Do you accept this is less than the increase promised in his party's manifesto, less than the amount that the outgoing prime minister apparently accepts is needed and, I hope, less than the amount you will ask for at the spending review?"

Education minister Nick Gibb said: "It wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment on specific proposals of the contenders, though I am very pleased that all the contenders in this leadership contest have put
education as a focus of their platform.

"We are committed to ensuring that schools are properly funded, and that is the work that is happening now as we prepare for the spending review."

Ms Rayner also spoke of her fears that children with disabilities are not getting enough support.

She said: "Years since the Prime Minister promised to tackle the burning injustices, they burn brighter than ever before just weeks before she is due to leave office."

Education minister Nadhim Zahawi said funding for children with special educational needs and disability has increased by £250 million, taking the total spent to £6.3 billion.

Unions that have expressed concern about a funding crisis in schools branded the chancellor’s promise of £400 million in last year's budget for schools to buy “little extras” as “deeply insulting and disingenuous”.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Tes Reporter

Latest stories


Coronavirus and schools: LIVE 18/9

A one-stop shop for teachers who want to know what impact the ongoing pandemic will have on their working lives
Tes Reporter 18 Sep 2020