Opinion Former Article

NASUWT: Schools and colleges facing a bleak and uncertain future

Ideologically driven cuts to education funding are putting the survival of many institutions in jeopardy and damaging the life chances of children and young people.

Representatives at the Annual Conference of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, being held in Birmingham, have passed a motion highlighting the impact of the Coalition Government’s attacks on education funding.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“Between 1997 and 2010, levels of education spending increased by over 5% year on year.

“Now independent analysts have predicted that during the term of this government, spending on education will decline by 3.5% per year.

“The adverse impact of these cuts is being felt in every school, college and nursery across the UK.

“Specialised support services are disappearing. Talented teachers and support staff are facing redundancy.

“Teaching resources are becoming stretched and enrichment activities are being curtailed.

“Early years provision and further education colleges are facing closure.

“These cuts are not some kind of unpalatable-but-necessary medicine to cure the UK of its economic ills, they are an ideologically driven attempt to hand over state education to private providers. It is children and young people who will ultimately pay the price.”

ENDS


NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Ben Padley 07785 463 119

Notes to editors
The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham from April 6th to the 9th.

The full text of the motion that was debated is below.

CUTS AND FUNDING FOR EDUCATION

Mick Lyons to move,

Dave Jones to second:

Conference deplores the attacks on state education which are being pursued through savage cuts to public spending.

Conference notes that between 1997 and 2010, levels of education spending increased by 5.1% in real terms year on year.

Conference is alarmed by the independent evidence from the Institute of Fiscal Studies in 2011 which confirms that spending on education in England will decline by 3.5% per year in real terms between 2010 and 2015.

Conference further notes that spending on early years and 16-19 education is facing the most acute cut of all, putting the survival of many institutions in jeopardy.

Conference recognises the disproportionate impact of public spending austerity on educational provision in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which is being squeezed as a result of cuts to the Block Grant.

Conference condemns the politically motivated cuts being imposed without any electoral mandate and which mean that thousands of schools and colleges are now facing a bleak and uncertain future.

Conference is further concerned by evidence of rising levels of unspent balances in some schools whilst teachers and other specialists are facing redundancy.

Conference congratulates the work of the National Executive in exposing the lie behind the Coalition Government’s cuts to public spending.

Conference endorses continued action by the National Executive to:

(i) promote alternatives to public spending austerity;

(ii) document and report on the impact of spending cuts on the quality of education in schools and colleges and

(iii) use all means at its disposal, up to and including strike action, to protect the employment of members.

(Executive, Walsall)

 

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