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:

triangleCollege lecturers in Wales strike against low pay and workload

triangleOver one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

triangleNational Education Union: vote for action on funding

triangleUnison HE ballot: Anti-union rules block action

triangleUniversity bankruptcy threat - kick the market out of education

Tories:

triangleFight for a general election to kick out the Tories

triangleAusterity: not one more day - Tories out now

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Brexit - Will the Tories survive?

triangleScrap the Tories' Universal Credit now!

Cuts:

triangleNorthamptonshire council crisis continues

triangleSocialist Party argues against fire service cuts at Tyne and Wear consultation

triangleFighting NHS and fire services cuts and closures in Merseyside

Pay:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleBradford College joins #FEfightback strike for decent pay

School:

triangleFight Cardiff Council's school cuts

Schools:

triangleIndefinite dinner ladies' and teaching assistants' strike

National Education Union:

triangleSave Our Schools

NUT:

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

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

5/12/18

EU

Fight for a general election to kick out the Tories

5/12/18

Technology

The growth of artificial intelligence technology

5/12/18

PCS

PCS AGS election: Where now after the Left Unity conference?

5/12/18

Huddersfield

Racist attack in Huddersfield

5/12/18

Buses

Fatal bus crash - an avoidable tragedy

5/12/18

Housing

Arrogant landlords can be beaten

5/12/18

Tories

Austerity: not one more day - Tories out now

5/12/18

NHS

Health bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

28/11/18

Environment

We need system change to halt climate change

28/11/18

Housing

The Tories' letting fee ban is full of holes - we need rent controls and council homes!

28/11/18

Haringey

Haringey 'Corbyn council': end the secrecy and confusion - lead a fight against the cuts

28/11/18

Brexit

End Tory misery - general election now!

28/11/18

EU

For a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!

22/11/18

Brexit

Brexit as a window on our times

22/11/18

Women

In defence of socialist feminism

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


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

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