It is clear that this Budget has nothing to offer existing schools.
The NAHT secretary Russell Hobby writes:
‘More than 80 per cent of school budgets are spent on staffing, so it is clear that the £3 billion of savings the government expects schools to find will result in fewer school staff.
This cannot help but have negative consequences, often for the most vulnerable. Class sizes will increase, the curriculum will narrow, training will be cut and support for struggling children will be reduced. The UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the world – how can we tell our children that there is no money to spare for them?
For school leaders watching the Budget, the anger will be two-fold: nothing is being provided for existing schools, despite the evident pressures they are under; but the government can find resources for new free schools to deliver its new grammar plans.
When the system is struggling to deliver sufficient resources for existing schools, it is fundamentally the wrong priority to allocate greater resources to schools that have not been created yet, and that will not provide help where there is the greatest need.
What could the chancellor have offered today? The National Audit Office highlights a funding shortfall of £3 billion due to the real terms cuts schools face. This would have been ambitious, but an investment, rather than a cost.
But other simpler and cheaper options were open to the Treasury. Part of the frustration from school leaders is that their costs have been rising because of actions taken by the government – rising national insurance contributions, increasing pension costs, the national living wage and, from April, the apprenticeship levy. The government is giving with one hand and taking with the other.
They have the levers to address this. Why not exempt schools from the apprenticeship levy? Or ensure all schools get the pupil premium they are entitled to through auto registering pupils for free school meals?’
Read the full article here: Philip Hammond’s 2017 Budget will be remembered as a missed opportunity for education