Schools miss out on Theresa May legacy funding boost

Lack of new money from outgoing prime minister comes despite earlier reports she wanted three-year deal worth £27 billion

Martin George

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Hopes that schools would receive a multibillion-pound funding boost in the dying days of Theresa May’s premiership have been dashed.

In recent weeks, it had been reported that the prime minister had wanted to announce a three-year £27 billion deal for schools to boost her legacy before she left Downing Street.

It came as contenders in the race to succeed her competed to promise the biggest increase in schools funding.


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But at a briefing for lobby journalists yesterday, the prime minister’s spokesperson said there would be no legacy school funding announcement before Ms May resigns tomorrow.

It was reported that chancellor Philip Hammond refused to sign off the proposals, and the Department for Education was now hoping that the incoming prime minister and chancellor would instead increase school funding.

The initial reports suggested that Ms May wanted a three-year deal worth £27 billion, but Mr Hammond reportedly threatened to quit because it would tie the hands of the next prime minister.

Earlier this month, The Times reported that, after weeks of talks, Mr Hammond was close to signing off a £5 billion boost for education, but this amount was later reportedly cut to just £3 billion.

As recently as last Friday, The Times reported that the Treasury would provide new money to partially fund a 2.75 per cent pay rise for teachers.

However, the pay award announced yesterday instead involves schools being asked to fund the first 2 per cent out of their existing budgets, with the DfE funding the additional 0.75 per cent from its own resources, without any extra Treasury money.

Newly elected Conservative leader Boris Johnson has pledged an extra £4.6 billion for schools by 2022-23.

His team said this amount would keep pace with rising numbers, and return per-pupil funding for schools to 2015 levels.

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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