Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1054/29514

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 September 2019

Money doesn't make up for cuts - education unions must organise for funding and against Tory attacks

School workers can't trust the Tories, photo by woodleywonderworks/CC

School workers can't trust the Tories, photo by woodleywonderworks/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Nicky Downes, National Education Union executive (personal capacity)

You know there's an election in the offing when the Tories say they will raise spending on education despite decimating school budgets in their previous terms of office. While the education unions have welcomed the increased funding of 14 billion over three years, it comes with worrying caveats.

In my school in Coventry in the last four years, we have lost over 650,000. That equates to a fall of 350 per pupil.

We now have fewer teaching assistants (TAs) supporting our pupils. Most classes have to share TAs across the year group.

The has meant that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have had their support cut, while class sizes and teachers' workload have increased.

Across Coventry we have seen 40 million in cuts. There have been job losses and cuts to resources, school trips, swimming lessons and basic school supplies.

Child poverty

In some areas of the country, schools have been forced to reduce teaching time by a half - or even a whole - day per week. This is alongside a marked increase in child poverty with many local people having to use food banks to feed their families.

The Tories know that education cuts lose votes. The National Union of Teachers (NUT, now part of NEU) campaign on school budget cuts helped make education one of the biggest issues in the 2017 general election.

Even the Tories had to admit that it cost them dearly. According to polling company Survation, 10.4% of voters changed their mind about who to vote for because of the campaign - 795,000 votes.

It's no surprise that the 'magic money tree' has been shaken to increase funding now. But this isn't going to solve the crisis in education.

Teachers and other education workers have left in their droves over the last few years. This won't stem the flood.

There are no promises to reduce workload or increase SEND funding. Instead we are told that there are too many teaching assistants and the main issue in schools is poor pupil behavior.

Instead of tackling children's mental health, ending the exam factory culture or other causes of behavioral difficulties, the Tories are considering a 'zero-tolerance policy'. Staff will be given explicit powers to use 'reasonable' force against unruly pupils and permanent exclusions are to be encouraged.

Staff have always been able to use reasonable force but are understandably reluctant to do so. Permanent exclusions will lead to more pupils being referred to Pupil Referral Units which are often where drug gangs recruit to 'county lines' and other forms of exploitation and abuse.

The money won't go where it's needed most. The Tory heartlands are likely to see more of the funds than the cities. Boris' rich friends will benefit while the poorest families get the crumbs off the table.

There'll be no money to reopen youth centres, but money to continue the privatisation programme of academisation. The Tories won't be happy until every school is an academy presumably, with a private-run Pupil Referral Units attached.

The education unions, including the National Education Union, have welcomed the increase in funding but have not gone far enough to condemn the policies attached to it. We desperately need the extra funding, but it must go to areas that need it most.

Insult

Millionaire Johnson is cynically combining a headline spending pledge with attacks on education, to deflect attention away from his pro-rich and anti-working-class policies. In August, the Socialist Party described Boris' spending plans as "an insult to our intelligence".

If Johnson is promising this, there must be more money in the Tory coffers.

We shouldn't be bought off by promises of money that only account for what was likely to be added anyway. We should not be bought off by the promise of increasing newly qualified teachers' pay to 30,000 a year, as there's no increased budget for this.

The NEU executive will need to discuss the funding crisis and how we keep education at the forefront during a general election. NEU should be central to pushing the Trade Union Congress to organise a national demonstration and should link up local strikes already taking place.

We need to fight for a socialist education system, democratically run by workers, parents, pupils and the local community, that puts children and education staff at its heart.

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 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.
  • 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: 

 


In The Socialist 4 September 2019:


What we think

Tories out now - Corbyn in with socialist policies

Marches, blockades, strikes, occupations... How can protests win?


News

Money doesn't make up for cuts - education unions must organise for funding and against Tory attacks

Bury expelled from football league: Boot out the bosses ruining our game

Dozens of protests say Boris must go - Socialist Party policies heard on TV


Climate change

20 September climate action day: Strike to save the planet!

Climate action day - trade union round-up


Wales

Austerity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence


Retail

What strategy can end the retail jobs massacre?

Workplace victory emboldens retail workers to get organised


Workplace news

TUC: name the day for a mass demo

Nottingham college workers plan 15 days of walkouts

Science Museum Group staff strike over pay restraint

DVSA strike: action impacting

South Western Railway guards strike against DOO

London bus workers protest for better hours and conditions


International socialist news and analysis

Hong Kong protests: No let-up in trial of strength


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Party Youth and Student national meeting

Priced out of Pride

Bradford demo: Self-determination for Kashmir


Opinion

At 96 I'm more convinced of socialism than ever

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 4 September 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Education:

triangleUni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

triangleHigher education disputes

triangleEducation unions lead campaign against Leicester academisation

triangleStaff and students unite against university bosses' attacks

triangleSchool staff need a pay rise

Unions:

triangleWider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

triangleGovernment social care plans: Where is the money?

triangleNottingham and Mansfield trade unions rally against cuts and for better pay

triangleCOP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables

Cuts:

triangleMail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image

triangleChallenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

triangleBuilding People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

School:

triangleOaks Park school strike ends following forced concessions

triangleWales: The Labour-Plaid Cymru agreement - jam tomorrow, maybe

Teachers:

triangleOrganise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand

NEU:

triangleNewham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

Teaching assistants:

triangle"I'm here to fight for the future education of children in Hackney"

National Education Union:

triangleStrategy needed to bring members together to take national action

NUT:

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

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

8/12/21

Government

Government social care plans: Where is the money?

8/12/21

NHS

Unite to fight for pay and NHS we deserve

8/12/21

Socialist

Workers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits

8/12/21

Cuts

Building People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

8/12/21

Education

Uni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

8/12/21

Covid

Covid news in brief

1/12/21

Tories

Tories strengthen repressive laws

1/12/21

Covid

Covid-19: New variant emerges but same old capitalist disease

1/12/21

NHS

NHS Critical

1/12/21

Asylum

27 dead in channel migrant tragedy

1/12/21

Workers

After COP26: where next for the climate movement?

1/12/21

Energy

Bulb bailed out, nationalise energy to solve price crisis

1/12/21

London

Khan threatens further London transport cuts

1/12/21

Youth

Kickstart scheme 'insufficient and flawed'

1/12/21

Housing

East London mass non-payment wins housing victory

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: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2021

November 2021

October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999