Chancellor Philip Hammond gave his first Autumn Statement on 23rd November 2016. For educators around the UK, there were clearly some glaring omissions. Although, around £50m has been set aside to support the Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for grammar school expansion.
Head teachers say that investment in the grammar school ideology is ultimately the “wrong priority”. Hammond defending the Statement by saying the government’s education policies had “expanded opportunity”.
In his speech to MPs on Wednesday 23rd, Hammond said, “The government’s education reforms have raised standards, the new capital funding I have provided today for grammar schools will help to continue that trend”.
Expressing his disappointment in the Autumn Statement and the lack therein of education funding, Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers said of the matter:
“We know that school budgets are being pushed, 90% of school leaders are informing us that pension contributions and NI contributions are the key reason for financial pressures in their establishment, freezing budgets at this time is no protection at all”.
“Social mobility has rightly become a focus for the government, but without quality education at all ages it is hard to see how the reality can match the vision”.
In October 2016, a group of head teachers wrote to Downing Street to express concern about increased funding pressures. A consultation on the proposals is due to close next month.
Were you disappointed by the lack of education funding in the Autumn Statement? How is funding affecting your establishment? Let us know in the comments section below.