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."
Wait for it....”a bit tight” #GavinWilliamson #abittight @clemcoady @WorthLessFF @EmilyProffitt10 @judyshaw4 @rob_kelsall @SiobhanHead @MichaeltheFerry @g56g @cyclingkev @bettyblue37degr @JohnEccleston2 @sandellmary0 @popejames @hthesmaller70 @Jimnich1 please share pic.twitter.com/WdMIPwnRBU— Calderdale Against School Cuts (@CalderdaleASC) October 11, 2019
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".
Education secretary Gavin Williamson says things have been “a bit tight” in schools. Gavin are you serious? School budgets have been devastated by the Tories since 2010, do you really know what is going on in education? Tories are completely detached from reality #ABitTight— 🌈 Angela Rayner 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) October 11, 2019
The Nottingham branch of the NAHT heads' union also called Williamson's comments: "A complete misjudgment of the funding crisis."
Today Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said it’s #ABitTight for schools. Yet for years Tories like Boris Johnson sat around the Cabinet table cutting funding from our schools while handing out billions in tax giveaways to the richest and big business.— 🌈 Angela Rayner 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) October 11, 2019
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.”
Education secretary Gavin Williamson says things have been #ABitTight and that "we need a little bit of extra money" in schools...— NAHT Nottingham City (@NAHTNottingham) October 11, 2019
A complete misjudgment of the funding crisis. pic.twitter.com/oahrt5vw00
“A bit tight” @GavinWilliamson Hi - this is what schools in Brighton and Hive have lost since 2015. It’s all too little, too late @SOSBirmingham @LewesParents @SOSEastMidlands @fairfundschools #SchoolCuts #SaveOurSchools #abittight https://t.co/B5TGHvjTEH pic.twitter.com/OKY0Q1xKON— Save Our Schools UK (@SaveSchoolsUK) October 11, 2019
#GavinWilliamson The education budget being #ABitTight is like saying the black death was like being a bit under the weather.— Mark (@MarkMobile68) October 11, 2019
This government is stuffed to the gunwales with cheats, liars, fools and ridiculous political dogmatists.