Prime minister promises 'record' spending on schools

Boris Johnson has pledged to achieve 'record spending' on education, but his first speech since winning the election mainly focused on Brexit and the NHS

Catherine Lough

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In his first speech since winning the general election, prime minister Boris Johnson this morning promised to make good on campaign promises to deliver "record spending" on schools.

But little other mention of schooling or education was made in a speech that largely focused on pledges to "get Brexit done" by 31 January, the NHS, and a promise not to let swing voters to the Conservatives down.

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With an expected majority of 86 seats, Mr Johnson cut a triumphant figure as he appeared on stage for his first speech as prime minister.

"Good morning, everybody – well, we did it – we pulled it off, didn't we?" he said.

His speech included two fleeting mentions of education. The first was promising "record spending on schools".

And he added that "superb education, superb infrastructure and technology" would help unite the country.

However, most of his speech was devoted to Brexit – he said four times during the speech that he would "get Brexit done".

Referring to pro-Remain campaigners, he said it was "time to put a sock in the megaphone and give everybody some peace".

Brexit aside, Mr Johnson also used the speech to commend the NHS as "a single, beautiful idea" that "represents the very best of our country". And he repeated campaign promises to deliver 50,000 more nurses and 40 more hospitals.

He also reflected on how his party had benefited from first-time Tory voters from traditional Labour heartlands, and promised not to take their support for granted.

On education, the Conservatives have pledged to boost school funding by £7.1 billion, raise teachers' starting salaries to £30,000, and to back headteachers on their use of exclusions.

While some commentators expected the Tories to refer to an expansion of grammar schools during the campaign, the Conservative manifesto did not suggest any radical structural upheavals to the schools system.


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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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