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TEACHING UNIONS RESPOND TO CLARKE ANNOUNCEMENT

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GOVERNMENT GAMBLES ALL ON A SCHOOL FUNDING DEAL DESIGNED TO STAVE OFF JOB LOSSES BETWEEN NOW AND THE NEXT ELECTION ...
GOVERNMENT GAMBLES ALL ON A SCHOOL FUNDING DEAL DESIGNED TO STAVE OFF JOB LOSSES BETWEEN NOW AND THE NEXT ELECTION SAYS NAHT

National Union of Head Teachers general secretary David Hart said:

'The government is gambling all on a funding deal designed to give stability and to stave off job losses between now and the general election. Yet there is absolutely no guarantee that the attempt to repair the severe damage caused by this year's funding fiasco will do the trick.

'It is all very well trying to head off political trouble in the run up to the next election. But the reality is that if the funding settlement fails to solve the acute problems for schools in deficit, or with no reserves, and does not deliver the £1 billion needed to carry out workload reduction, it will only serve to anger head teachers.

Many schools have held off making redundancy decisions pending the outcome of the funding settlement. By the end of this year heads will know if they have the settlement they need, and the government will know if its political gamble has paid off.'

National Union of Teachers statement follows:

'Charles Clarke's statementon school funding shows that the government still has a very long way to go before schools can be sure that they will not face job losses, cuts and deficits in the next two years.

'Schools needed an average increase of 11% to stand still this year. A 4% guarantee for the next two years is a very long way from that.

'Indeed the secretary of state acknowledged in his letter to the STRB on 7 October that a 4% per pupil guaranteed increase is insufficient to make good this year's funding crisis and meet increased costs next year.

'This then is a 'suck it and see settlement'. Only when we know what each school will receive will we know how many thousands of schools will suffer.

'The fact that the government is to enable LEAs to borrow is an admission of continued underfunding .

'There is insufficient money to employ the additional teachers necessary to implement the workload agreement.

'More teaching posts will be lost. More teachers will face redundancy. More pupils will be disadvantaged by classes being taken by unqualified persons.

'Teachers will continue to pay for the continuing government created funding crisis and for workforce reform. The government intends that progress on the upper pay scale will be severely rationed and that all teachers will suffer a pay freeze until September 2006.'

Association of Teachers and Lecturers press release follows:

Extra £120m must go 100 per cent towards pupils' education, says ATL

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has commented on today's announcement by the education secretary, Charles Clarke, that an extra £120m, an increase of around four per cent per pupil in England, is to be given to schools in a government attempt to solve the schools budget crisis.

ATL's general secretary Mary Bousted said:

'Any funding increase per pupil is to be welcomed. This money will only be of value if the government can ensure that it is 100 per cent for the education of pupils in their schools. But we must accept that per pupil funding varies around the country and in some areas there is a much greater need for additional funding than in others.

'It is not clear whether the government has fully taken on board the need to ensure that wherever a child is educated there is an absolute minimum of funding required.

'Changes to the timing of funding announcements have improved the ability of schools to plan. But planning to manage deficits achieves nothing. We need stability against a background of adequate resources if this summer's crisis is not to be repeated.'

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