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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 August 2017

School spend behind eastern Europe: kick out cutters and profiteers!

photo Teo Sze Lee (Creative Commons)

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


 

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Related links:

Eastern:

triangleVictory against government's war on eastern European homeless

triangleSheffield Eastern Ave Job Centre strike ends

triangleThree thousand attend Burston strike commemoration rally

triangleRoyal Mail walkout over suspension of union reps

School:

triangleCapitalism v cricket

triangleVictory for school cleaners!

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

Europe:

triangleTory infighting escalates - workers' action can oust them

triangleSweden: School strike against deportations

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The new left parties in Europe

Eastern Europe:

triangleCzechoslovakia 1968: 'Prague Spring' challenges Stalinism

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Education:

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

Teachers:

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

Schools:

triangleGCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

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