Headteachers and teachers across England are being encouraged to write to their MPs over the school funding crisis in the run up to the Budget

11 October 2018

Headteachers and teachers across England are being encouraged to write to their MPs over the school funding crisis in the run-up to the Budget on 29 October. 

In a joint video, the leaders of the National Education Union (NEU), National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), and Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), also condemn the Government’s invidious decision to ignore the advice of the independent review body on teachers’ pay. 

The School Teachers’ Review Body recommended a pay increase of 3.5% for all teachers and leaders in order to address severe teacher shortages following years of pay freezes and caps. 

However, the Government decided only 40% of teachers will receive the recommended award, while everyone else will receive a below-inflation increase. It also decided that schools will have to fund the first 1% of the pay award despite severe pressure on budgets which has left many schools with no option other than to make cuts to the curriculum and the support they are able to provide to students. 

Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that total school spending per pupil has fallen by 8% in real terms over the past eight years. 

The Government can put this right in the budget on 29 October. If it doesn’t then our unions intend to carry on the campaign and we will each consult our members to gather their views. 

You can view the video here

ASCL General Secretary Geoff Barton said: “We’re encouraging heads and teachers to write to MPs because Parliament needs to understand that educational standards are being put at risk by the Government’s underfunding of schools and colleges.” 

NAHT General Secretary Paul Whiteman said: “Not only are school leaders enduring a real-terms pay cut, they are being forced into an impossible situation where the only way to afford to pay staff the recommended amount is to lay some of them off. Only new money from the Treasury will solve the school funding crisis.” 

NEU Joint General Secretary Mary Bousted said: “There will not be one MP in the land that has not heard or seen the impact that serious underfunding of our schools is having in their constituency. We are asking them to support the head teachers, teachers and support staff in their area who have a clear message to the Chancellor: Enough is enough.” 

NEU Joint General Secretary Kevin Courtney said: “The Government has succeeded in uniting teachers and heads. There is unity in the teaching profession, that ministers must stop relying on dodgy statistics and instead act urgently on the twin crises of school funding and teacher supply. Our children deserve nothing less.”