Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://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:

triangleMobilise mass student fightback

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleStudents unite and fight - free education now!

triangleSchool students in solitary: for full funding, not exclusion!

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building the movement for socialism this autumn

Tories:

triangleTUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

triangleTories in chaos - general election now!

triangleTory and Blairite racist policy is behind Windrush fatality

triangleTories fear housing anger... but offer no solutions

Cuts:

triangleSocialists and campaigners protest Leicester NHS cuts

triangleReading council plans privatisation - set a no-cuts budget instead!

triangle4m children in homes that can't afford fruit and veg

Pay:

triangleUniversity pay ballot: vote yes for strike action!

triangleLiverpool airport workers demand decent pay

School:

triangleThe ongoing capitalist crisis and the struggle for a socialist world

Schools:

triangleExam factories, cuts and violence - Fight for our future!

NUT:

triangleGovernment fails to deliver on funding and teachers' pay - demand action to win 5%

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

19/9/18

Labour Party

Blairites must go

19/9/18

Student

Mobilise mass student fightback

19/9/18

Housing

250,000 families in "non-decent" homes

19/9/18

EU

The fog of Brexit

19/9/18

What we saw

What we saw

19/9/18

Rail

Rail rip-off reversal

19/9/18

Momentum

Momentum's 'The World Transformed' blocks discussion on Liverpool council struggle

19/9/18

Labour Party

The struggle to transform Labour

18/9/18

Drug companies

Big drugs companies dodge 3 billion pounds in tax

13/9/18

PCS

PCS: the real issues at stake - a reply to Socialist View

12/9/18

Labour Party

Corbyn must lead in fight against the Blairites

12/9/18

Capitalism

Fearful bosses call for 'fairer capitalism'...

12/9/18

Food

4m children in homes that can't afford fruit and veg

12/9/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

12/9/18

Academies

School students in solitary: for full funding, not exclusion!

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999