Harlow Labour leader asks: Are Harlow’s schools facing yet more cuts?

Education / Sun 16th Jul 2023 at 12:42pm

THE LEADER of Harlow Labour has looked at the latest government offer and asked the question: Are Harlow’s schools facing yet more cuts?

Councillor Chris Vince said: “Teachers’ unions have recommended that teachers accept the 6.5% pay increase offered by the government, as recommended by the pay review body, even though this means another fall in the real terms value of teachers’ pay. 

The Conservative government have said this pay award is fully funded, but the truth is more complicated than that. In its report published today, the STRB said it estimated the recommendations would increase the pay bill by approximately £1.6 billion for mainstream schools, but Prime minister Rishi Sunak has said the government will not borrow more money to fund the rise, meaning the DfE will have to find savings and efficiencies within existing budgets.

“No extra money, beyond the 3.5% increase that had already been agreed by the Treasury to meet inflationary costs, has been allocated to the overall education budget. Instead the education department expects schools to fund pay rises from within the existing expenditure envelope. This will be achieved, according to the Education Secretary, by delaying some projects and cancelling others. 

The net result is that schools with leaking roofs are less likely to see vital repairs. Investment in new equipment and books will not happen. Over crowding in areas of population growth will worsen.

The situation is particularly hard for those schools that strive to be fully inclusive. These schools employ extra support staff for pupils with additional needs, staff that fulfill vital roles, but who are not teachers. Pay rises for these staff are not funded. These schools, which cater for the most disadvantaged, be hardest hit.

“To be clear, whilst teachers fully deserve this pay rise, it is not fully funded and it will result in cuts to schools in Harlow and across the country. This is a political choice. Taxing non dom’s, charging VAT on private school fees, a real windfall tax on the excessive profits of the energy companies could have been used to fully fund public sector pay rises and so much more beside. But this Conservative government have instead chosen to protect the obscenely wealthy at the expense of public services. I say that is the wrong choice.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

9 Comments for Harlow Labour leader asks: Are Harlow’s schools facing yet more cuts?:

gary roberts
2023-07-16 13:41:33

Are Harlow’s schools facing yet more cuts? Yes

Thomas Greer
2023-07-16 13:43:00

A tax on private schools on already heavily pressured middle classes, resulting in more kids back into the system costing the public purse & more overcrowding of oversubscribed schools - great idea! Wish we’d hear more about Labour getting back our stolen funds during covid from Mone, Eat out to help out, bounceback fraud etc

2023-07-16 14:40:00

My kid's school has a classroom where the roof leaks when it rains. Can they afford to fix it? No ,they just cordon off the area of wet floor so the kids don't slip over on the water. Schools have been horribly underfunded by the Conservatives and the cuts that are inevitably coming, because the pay rises are not fully funded, will just make things worse. Halfon should hang his head in shame for trying to defend this.

David Forman
2023-07-16 17:59:40

I remember campaigning against the creation of Acamedies in part because schools would have to fund maintenance rather than Essex County Council. We can see years later that schools are falling apart and school finances undermined. The NEU teachers union says it has "concerns that mass academisation and an increasing number of employers will affect asbestos management in schools. When schools become academies, they lose the support of the local authority as duty holder. While some academy trusts will be experienced in asbestos management, many, especially small trusts, will not. This could lead to poor asbestos management practices." See https://neu.org.uk/advice/health-and-safety/work-environment/asbestos-schools

David Taylor
2023-07-16 18:31:30

It’s just disgusting how this government gets away with a lot. Time for change

David Forman
2023-07-16 19:07:52

Mr Taylor, an alternative education policy proposed by an array of education stakeholders is a National Education Service. A key part of this is abandoning Academies as New Zealand did in 2018. The Anti Academies Alliance produced a leaflet in 2020 launching the idea: https://antiacademies.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/AAA_LBANEST_Feb2020-A4_6pp_WEB.pdf

2023-07-16 20:49:07

As conditions in schools get worse then no pay rise is going to stop teachers leaving the profession or the UK.

2023-07-16 22:00:34

Yet again, we simply can't keep spending vast sums on migrants (currently £3.7 Billion pa) without it having an effect on domestic services, the old say "charity begins at home" has never been more apt

Kim Oconnor
2023-07-17 09:04:16

Cuts to staff, cuts to most things, no maintenance, the list goes on... Sooner or later everything crumble s..

Leave a Comment Below:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *