PLANNED Tory cuts to the education budget will slash £5.5 million from Harlow’s schools budgets and see 150 teachers lose their jobs
Schools in England are facing the most significant financial pressures since the mid 1990s under the Conservative government with school leaders having to find £3bn in savings over the next three years and funding per pupil expected to fall by 8% in real terms by 2020. This is according to a report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) released in March this year.
In Harlow, this will equate to a reduction of £5.5 million from the schools budget every year and the loss of 150 teachers.
Harlow’s Labour parliamentary candidate Phil Waite said:
“People need to understand the effect that this Conservative government is having on the quality of the education that our young people are getting.
“Parents of children at school in Harlow will know that head teachers already have to cut staff to meet rising costs. But believe me, this is the thin end of the wedge.
“If we continue this way, our schools will be turning out young people who do not have the skills and confidence to meet the many challenges that lie ahead of them.”
This week, the Labour Party announced a £6bn year boost to schools budgets by the end of the next parliament if it is elected to run the country on June 8.
Other measures announced include the introduction of a National Education Service, echoing the National Health Service which Labour also created, abolishing university tuition fees, restoring maintenance grants for the poorest students and ensuring that five, six and seven year olds are not taught in classes of more than 30.
To fund this, Labour would reverse cuts to corporation tax already introduced by the Tories which have seen rates fall from 28% to 19% with more cuts planned.
Under Labour, corporation tax would be restored 20 26% by 2020-21, still the lowest rate in the G7 group of advanced industrial nations.
Phil Waite said:
“Why should the public sector subsidise company profits? Why should our children not receive a decent education so that companies can pay bigger dividends to their shareholders who can then go on and privately education their children?
“We need a properly funded education system which enables every child to achieve their potential and sets them up for the future they each deserve. Not just those whose parents can afford private education.”
Steven Lister of Katharine’s in Harlow is a 30 year old secondary teacher. He said;
“People need to understand what is happening in our schools. Class sizes are going up. The number of teachers is going down and morale is low. Inevitably this has an effect on the quality of the teaching the students are getting.
“It’s getting harder and harder to attract good people into teaching because it is getting such a poor reputation. Most teachers are driven by a passion for helping young people get the best start in life. If they feel they can’t do that because the system is working against them, then they are de-motivated and either leave or choose different professions.
“As a teacher, I fully support Labour’s plans to invest in our young people and our education system overall.”
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