Williamson: 'Things have been a bit tight in schools'

Education secretary criticised for understating funding woes after claiming schools need 'a little bit of extra money'

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has been criticised over his comments on school funding

The education secretary has come under fire on social media after claiming things have been "a bit tight" for schools.

Gavin Williamson, who has been in the post since July, told the BBC: “I have to confess I do occasionally get it in the ear, being married to a teacher and having a brother as a teacher, that things have been a bit tight in schools and they’ve needed a little bit of extra money."

 

The comments, branded a "misjudgment of the funding crisis" by one union branch, have sparked a backlash on social media – including from the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, who called the Conservative party "completely detached from reality".

The school funding crisis

They also have an unfortunate resemblance to the ill-judged decision by Philip Hammond, then chancellor, last year to suggest that an extra £400 million for cash-strapped schools would allow them to buy "the little extras they need"

The Nottingham branch of the NAHT heads' union also called Williamson's comments: "A complete misjudgment of the funding crisis."

Defending the government's spending record, Mr Williamson told the BBC: “What we’ve seen is the biggest increase in terms of investment in schools for a generation, and every year we’ve seen increases in the amount of money we spend on our schools.

"We’ve seen rising standards in terms of children’s attainment, especially children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds – that’s been increasing every single year. That’s good news.”

 

 

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