Despite pleas from thousands of Headteachers, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced there will be no extra funding for core school finances in his latest Budget statement.
It is the first Budget announcement since Theresa May failed to establish a majority vote for the Conservatives in this year’s General Election and the Tory regime has come under scrutiny with teacher workload and school finances stretched to the limit within the education system.
Some Headteachers wrote to parents after Justine Greening’s National Funding Formula was criticised to inform them that school funds were at a premium. Experts warned that numerous schools would struggle to cope and Headteachers wrote to Philip Hammond to ask for an extra £1.7 billion to be punched into the education system. Yet the lack of movement in this recent announcement was criticised by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who suggested, “schools in England will be 5% worse off by 2019”.
However, the Chancellor did announce support for teacher training and Maths.
£42 million has been set aside over the next three years to provide extra training for teachers but only in selected schools. Each teacher involved will have access to £1,000 worth of training.
£84 million will also be utilised to train 12,000 more staff in computer science where schools have found it difficult to recruit new teachers.
Secondary schools could also receive a boost with £600 being granted for every extra pupil taking Maths as an A-Level after concerns that too many children drop the subject after their GCSEs.
However, the latest Budget announcement will do very little to gain support for the Government from people involved within the education sector, whether they are teachers or parents. Both sets of interested parties campaigned for a boost to core funds and these have been ignored by the Chancellor, a move that will undoubtedly receive heavy criticism in the coming days.
Although funds have been set aside for teacher training, school staff remain under pressure with current budgets forcing Headteachers to cut support such as teaching assistants to balance the books. Added workloads are forcing professionals out of the system and funds for teacher training could be redundant if the current recruitment crisis in schools is not supported.
Expect a backlash from schools across the country on the back of this latest announcement.