Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/951/25575
From The Socialist newspaper, 31 May 2017
Struggle can beat Tories' outlandish 7% cuts to schools
Teachers marching through London against Tory attacks on education, photo Sarah Wrack (Click to enlarge)
James Kerr, teacher and NUT union activist
The Conservatives' manifesto pledges a slashing of school budgets unseen in generations.
No wonder Theresa May was laughed at and heckled during the live TV debate when she attacked Labour's sums on school funding.
Even the free-market Institute for Fiscal Studies produced a damning assessment: "Taking account of forecast growth in pupil [numbers], this equates to a real-terms cut in spending per pupil of 2.8% between 2017-18 and 2021-22.
"Adding this to past cuts makes for a total real-terms cut to per-pupil spending of around 7% over the six years between 2015-16 and 2021-22."
With the vast majority of school spending going on staff, this means fewer teachers and teaching assistants with class sizes set to rise. Already over 500,000 children are taught in classes over 30, the maximum recommended by the National Union of Teachers.
This has a huge impact on the quality of education children experience - but will also inevitably force more teachers out of the profession. More teachers are having to be pragmatic about their choices.
I spoke to one teacher last week who has resigned from his extra responsibility as a head of year because the pressures of that role on top of his teaching duties were becoming unbearable. He can make more money doing a few hours of tutoring on the side.
We will see an exodus of good teachers and a skills shortage if things continue as they are.
May had the audacity to say she wanted more children taught in 'good' and 'outstanding' Ofsted schools. Home Secretary Amber Rudd, in the wake of the Manchester attack, said she wanted schools to do more to tackle 'radicalisation'.
All these grand election promises - delivered with fewer resources and a worn-out profession? Teachers are renowned for liking mugs, not being them.
We need to kick the Tories out on 8 June, but also gear up for a mass campaign to defend education if they win. Recent events on funding across the country show the basis for a broad-based campaign. But the education unions will need to provide the cutting edge to that in the form of industrial action.
It promises to be a long hot summer either way.
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In The Socialist 31 May 2017:
What we think
Mobilise for a mass movement after 8 June
How can Corbyn's programme be implemented?
Socialist Party news and analysis
After 8 June: build the socialist fightback
Workers warned BA boss of tech failure danger
Families to have £15,000 debt by 2020 - trade union action needed
Tories and Blairites in pockets of big business: kick them out!
Fighting Tory schools cuts
Struggle can beat Tories' outlandish 7% cuts to schools
Fighting Tory cuts to the schools budget
International socialist news and analysis
South Africa: burning anger
Workplace news and analysis
PCS conference: Confident delegates back fighting strategy and Jeremy Corbyn
Certification officer confirms that Unison did break the rules in general secretary election
Gains for left in Unison national executive election
Shortened GMB conference to hear pro-Corbyn and anti-austerity motions
Strike action to save Sheffield Jobcentre
Union stops finance for anti-Corbyn Labour MP
Manchester housing workers' strike solid
Bully bosses' zero-hour backdown
National Shop Stewards Network conference 2017
Tory attacks on mental health care
Fight the Tory cuts and changes that take mental health back to Bedlam
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Don't wait! Join the Socialist Party to transform society
Electric atmosphere at Jeremy Corbyn rally in Glasgow
Why I joined: "To fight for an end to tuition fees and cuts"
Manchester socialists campaigning against war, racism, terrorism and austerity
Socialist Party hosts pro-Corbyn rally in Southampton
Student occupation at Chelsea College of Arts
North Bristol: angry march in defence of the NHS
Book launch meeting: showing the Socialist Party's active participation in events past and present
Women and austerity - scrap the 'rape clause'
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
June 1917: when workers in Britain first tried to form soviets
Heroic socialist fighters who sang as ship went down - new memorial
Corbyn's policies could help fight unhappiness for LGBT+ people
Obituary: Rhodri Morgan 1939-2017, architect of the 'Welsh Labour' brand
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