Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25857

Posted on 19 July 2017 at 11:16 GMT

Education cuts: Tories buckling under public pressure

Unions must go on the offensive

James Kerr, teacher and Lewisham Socialist Party

Liverpool NUT march, 5.7.16, photo Hugh Caffrey

Liverpool NUT march, 5.7.16, photo Hugh Caffrey   (Click to enlarge)

The pressure of the growing campaign against education cuts is starting to have an effect on the government.

With opinion polls showing that the threat to school budgets cost the Tories dearly in the general election, Education Secretary Justine Greening has been forced into making an announcement over school funding.

She claims to have found an additional 1.3 billion for schools over the next two years. But the extra 416 million in 2018-19 and 884 million in 2019-20 falls far short of what is needed to stop schools having to sack staff, cut the curriculum and put up class sizes.

Schools need an extra 2 billion right now just to address the real term cuts over the coming school year. This is because the government has not been funding school budgets sufficiently to meet the rising costs of pay, pensions and national insurance.

The 1.3 billion isn't even 'new' money from the Treasury but has been found by redirecting cash from other parts of the Department for Education budget. Unions estimate that the extra cash would still leave schools short by over 2 billion a year or nearly 7 billion in total by 2020.

Stolen funds - not new money

Greening also made clear that the Tories will be pressing ahead with their plans for a 'national funding formula' which could see funds being stolen from some areas to help pay for increases in others. Further announcements are due in the autumn but this could result in further school cuts for some.

So, behind the 'smoke and mirrors' of her announcement, Greening has actually done very little to address the mounting school budget crisis. The extra funds will do little to satisfy the Heads who have been warning parents of the cuts they are having to make, nor the parents and school staff who have been campaigning together to defend education.

However, the announcement should also give school campaigners confidence that Greening and the Tories know they are in trouble. This small increase shows that, if the campaign continues to build, then the Tories will have to do better than just find spare cash down the back of the DfE sofa.

Schools and students need the funding both to fully reverse school cuts and also to address the rising teacher workloads and declining real salaries that have created a recruitment and retention crisis that is severely damaging education.

The Tories' announcement that some less experienced teachers, if their performance is judged good enough, could be awarded a 2% increase instead of the 1% that their colleagues will receive, will also only provoke more bitterness. School staff deserve a decent pay rise as of right, not divisive performance-related pay and schools need to be fully funded to pay for those awards.

Labour councils also have a responsibility to make sure school students get the education they deserve. They should agree that local authority schools are granted licensed deficits instead of having to cut staff to balance their books. That has to be part of a mass campaign of parents, staff and school students to defeat school cuts.

National Education Union

Teacher unions, particularly the National Education Union (replacing the NUT and ATL in September), must take a lead by building further strike action to oppose cuts and increased workload and redundancies, including doing the necessary campaigning among members to hold and win a ballot for national strike action.

Greening's announcement shows the Tories are on the back foot. Now they must be forced to make a genuine u-turn over school cuts.


'Shake the magic money tree and scrap the pay cap!'

Demonstration and rally Thursday 5 October

(Called by London NUT with support from other unions)

Assemble 5:00pm opposite Downing Street, London SW1A 1AA

March past Department for Health > Treasury > Department for Education > Home Office. Rally in Parliament Square


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 19 July 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Education:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Fighting for free education

triangleNewham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

triangleTeacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

triangleBigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

triangleUCU members balloting for action on pension cuts

Tories:

triangleCabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

triangleSustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

triangleThousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

Cuts:

triangleCorbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangleWe must fight all council cuts!

triangleNHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

Pay:

triangleHackney school cleaners strike

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Pay Up Now - Public sector workers need a pay rise!

School:

triangleSweden: School strike against deportations

Schools:

triangleOpposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

National Education Union:

triangleEqual sick pay rights for staff at Charlton Park Academy

NUT:

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

17/1/18

Labour

Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

17/1/18

Trump

Victory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests

17/1/18

NHS

NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

15/1/18

Carillion

Carillion crisis: demand action to save jobs and services

10/1/18

Tories

Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

10/1/18

NHS

Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

10/1/18

Education

Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

10/1/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

10/1/18

Teachers

Teacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

3/1/18

Fire service

Fire service victory

3/1/18

Fares

Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

3/1/18

Higher Education

Mobilise against rip-off executive pay

3/1/18

Virgin

NHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off 1bn

3/1/18

Homes

Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

3/1/18

Fat cats

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle22 Jan Women rally defiantly

triangle22 Jan Red Mary - a Force of Nature

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

More ...

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

triangle24 Jan Salford Socialist Party: Left parties, Greek tragedy and Jeremy Corbyn

triangle24 Jan Hackney Socialist Party: 10 years since the 2007-08 crash - will there be another?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2