Today, the NUT and ATL publish a list of the 100 MPs whose constituencies are likely to face the most severe cuts, according to the best available data (see attached). It is striking that of these, 86% are Labour MPs, among them Diane Abbott (3rd), Chuka Umunna (5th), Keir Starmer (12th), Lucy Powell (20th), Emily Thornberry (50th), Jeremy Corbyn (72nd) and John McDonnell (91st). The remaining 14% are Conservative MPs, and this somewhat shorter list contains the present Education Secretary, Justine Greening (27th) and her departmental colleague Edward Timpson (93rd).
We estimate that 92% of schools could face cuts in their funding per pupil in real terms over the next four years, with no local authority – and no MP – set to gain overall, even after the redistributive impact of the Government’s “fair funding” proposals have been taken into account. There are no proposals as yet for any new money in the schools budget that would change this.
The schoolcuts.org.uk website, a new interactive map launched by NUT and ATL, spells out the impact of the Government’s current funding policy. Use the website to enter a postcode and immediately see the impact on all schools in that area. The results, we can assure you, are startling.
There will be worse to come if the Government intends only to shift the already inadequate overall school funding around the country, rather than do the right thing – which is to increase it.
If not, the results will be catastrophic. By 2020 we predict:
- Schools with the most deprived intakes would face the greatest average losses in real terms: £579 per pupil in primary schools, and £784 in secondaries.
- The average real terms loss for primary schools would be £96,481, or £401 per pupil.
- The average real terms loss for secondary schools would be £290,228, or £365 per pupil.
- Average budget cuts could be 6.5% in primary schools and 9% in secondary schools.
NUT and ATL are calling on the Government to take immediate action to inject much needed money into an already beleaguered system and protect schools from rising inflation. It is the only sensible solution to a crisis already underway and which is set to get harder for schools to cope with.
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:
“The Chancellor needs to heed the warning that schools cannot continue to give the education children and parents expect and deserve unless additional funding is given. There is no further room to manoeuvre, budgets have already been cut to the bone and all the sacrifices and compromises have been made. Schools simply cannot take another blow to already precarious finances. We need to invest in education. Failure to do so will be seriously letting a generation of children and young people down.”
Mary Bousted, General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said:
“We urge the Government to do the right thing and fund schools adequately so that they don’t have to cut the subjects they teach and can pay to put a teacher in front of every class. Simply reallocating the existing schools budget won’t do. Virtually all schools would be worse off and it would hit the poorest children hardest.”
The NUT and ATL schoolcuts.org.uk website enables users to see precisely how each individual school could be affected in real terms by the Government’s intention to implement a new funding formula for schools alongside real terms cuts to funding per pupil and cost increases being imposed by the Government. These include higher employer NI and pension contributions.
By entering a post code on the website homepage, visitors can see how all the schools in that area are likely to fare between now and 2020 and how that estimated funding loss equates into numbers of teacher posts.
The formula used in the website is based on the Government’s own spending plans and school data, Institute for Fiscal Studies projections for the cost of inflation and other cost increases, and the new funding formula proposed by the influential f40 campaign group of local authorities.
If, and when, the Government confirms the formula, the website will be amended to provide revised predictions reflecting that formula. The necessary features of any new formula and the statements already made by Government about funding methodology mean, however, that – unless new money is found – the impact on schools is likely to be similar to the impact demonstrated by this website.