Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/960/26054
From The Socialist newspaper, 30 August 2017
School spend behind eastern Europe: kick out cutters and profiteers!
photo Teo Sze Lee (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
'Seth Brydon', teacher, Birmingham
UK education spending is behind many eastern European countries, according to EU figures.
While the UK spent 5.1% of GDP on education in 2015, Slovenia spent 5.6%, Latvia 6% and Estonia 6.1%. Lithuania and Poland also give a greater share to schools.
Denmark is top of the pack at 7%, with Sweden and Belgium also above 6%. Britain might be still above the EU average of 4.9% - but that includes Romania which only spends 3% of GDP on education.
While the Tories continue to claim that school funding is at its highest ever, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that per-pupil funding will have fallen by 13% in a decade by 2020.
And if there's no school funding crisis, why did Tory education secretary Justine Greening announce in July that £1.3 billion would be transferred from the 'free schools' budget towards 'core' schools?
This sum, by the way, is only a fraction of the £3 billion the National Audit Office calculates is set to be cut by this government on top of the Con-Dems' slashing.
In my school, we are set to lose over £300,000 - the equivalent of nine teachers.
Already, standard resources are like gold dust. I have one ream of paper, for all my printing needs, to last until... whenever I get granted another one. No wonder my summer shopping list includes school supplies that used to be bought by the school.
One thing that isn't being cut is contracts to private companies. My school doesn't actually own the school! Instead it is rented from a private firm - one of New Labour's 'private finance initiatives'.
As a result, there are rules on where and how we can put up displays. And when the school was built around a decade ago, it wasn't foreseen that class sizes would hit 30 - we haven't got enough coat hooks for every child.
So some 'efficiency savings' can be made: kicking out the private profiteers, so all parts of education can be publicly owned and democratically run. We must fight not just to stop the cuts to come, but for an actual increase in per-pupil funding.
The newly merged National Education Union - formed from the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers - comes into existence this term.
Members will be looking for a combative approach on these vital issues.
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In The Socialist 30 August 2017:
Socialist Party news and analysis
McStrike against low pay
School spend is behind eastern Europe
May's lies about foreign students exposed
Landlord licensing under threat - fight back
Corbyn confirms £1bn for the arts
What we think
Reject Starmer's Single Market u-turn
Workplace news and analysis
Barts health workers' strike: pay up Serco!
Ford workers vote for action - the fight is on
BT attack on pension benefits
Bron Afon housing workers step up strike
Unite takes legal action against Argos
International socialist news and analysis
China: debt crisis, state repression and the prospects for workers' struggle
Hong Kong: mass demonstration against repression
Where is Scotland going?
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Chatsworth workers and patients fight to save ward
Campaigners fight second Yorkshire Women's Aid closure in two years
Community and artists campaign to save Todmorden College
Orgreave campaign calls Halloween rally
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
Should you be furious about 'furious cycling'?
Catchy folk rock with a socialist edge
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 30 August 2017 |
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