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.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

Education:

triangleSchools: 'We have to fight for everything'

triangleMartin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"

triangleFees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

triangleRefund student rent and fees

Tories:

triangleWhy I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

triangleMay elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

triangleCovid: Bosses chase profit and put workers in danger

triangleBosses profit out of 'starvation' food parcels

Cuts:

triangleThe Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is 'up and running' for the May 2021 elections

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

triangleLondoners suffer and Khan piles on pressure

Pay:

triangleMerseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

triangleSage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

School:

triangleTeachers: On the front line, in their own words

Schools:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: For a safe return to schools

National Education Union:

triangleEffective testing and properly funded safety plan needed

NUT:

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

27/1/21

NHS

Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

27/1/21

Labour

Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party

27/1/21

Education

Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

27/1/21

West Midlands

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader

27/1/21

Covid

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

27/1/21

Vaccine

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

27/1/21

Poverty

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

27/1/21

Fees

Fees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

27/1/21

Health

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic

21/1/21

Socialist Party

Socialism the podcast: 2020 episodes

20/1/21

London

May elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

20/1/21

Jeremy Corbyn

Peace and Justice Project - no way forward for socialism

20/1/21

Socialist

USA in crisis - the need for a socialist alternative

20/1/21

BBC

News in Brief

20/1/21

Scotland

Millionaire tendency regains control of Scottish Labour

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: [email protected]

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999