Education

30.04.19

Headteachers told to endure ‘darkest hour’ ahead of Spending Review

Headteachers in England have been told to endure “the darkest hour before the dawn” until future school spending is revealed as the education secretary insists he will make a “strong case” for more funding ahead of the Spending Review.

A number of MPs raised the issue of education funding during questions in the Commons as education ministers came under increased pressure, and education secretary Damian Hinds reiterated that his department will put together a strong bid for more funding for education in the Spending Review.

Hinds admitted that finances are currently facing “challenges,” and in an interview with the House Magazine schools minister Nick Gibbs claimed the country was in “the darkest hour just before the dawn” in the build-up to the spending review.

Gibbs said headteachers will likely benefit from the end of austerity when the next round of government spending is revealed in the autumn, but that revenues are only beginning to recover 10 years on from the financial crash.

Conservative MP Rebecca Pow called for a meeting with Hinds to discuss how the lack of funding is affecting a “raft of schools” in her area, and said teachers were coming to her “increasingly urgently” about the funding pressures they are under.

Speaking in the Commons, Hinds said: “We are going to be putting forward a strong case for education on which so much else depends both in our society and in our economy.”

“There is pressure on high needs budgets, actually the high needs budget has gone up from £5bn to £6bn over the last few years, but there are still those pressures.

“That is why it was so important to secure the additional £250m that we announced at the end of last year.”

The government has come under growing pressure to alleviate school budget cuts and rapidly rising demand for special needs, and earlier this month more than 1,000 councillors wrote to the education secretary urging the government to give schools billions of pounds in extra funding.

Image credit - fstop123

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