National Union of Teachers: Education Cuts Harm Us All

Commenting on the recent Comprehensive Spending Review, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said;

“The cuts announced in the Government’s spending review are a retrograde step and will have a devastating impact on vital public services, including education.

“The Government may talk about protecting schools, but schools are not protected and nor are local authorities. Attacks are already being made on additional education funding outside of the core schools budget, with vital frontline services to schools already under threat. There will be a total real reduction in the education department’s spending of 3% by 2014 -15.

“Teachers are faced with a pay freeze and cuts to pensions which mean they have to work longer for less. Teachers will see this as a long way short of the ‘gold standard’ George Osborne describes.

“The ending of the Building Schools for the Future programme resulted in the cancellation of over 700 school building projects. The money now allocated for spending on school buildings is a poor substitute and represents a 60% reduction in real terms.

“The Chancellor’s speech today [20th Oct 2010] leaves a lot of key questions unanswered. It is still not clear whether the pupil premium is new money, or if the funding for Sure Start is protected in real terms. Even in relation to school funding, to say that per pupil funding will be maintained in ‘cash terms’ points towards a per pupil cut in funding in real terms. The Chancellor will need to reassure parents and teachers on this point.

“There are alternatives to the cuts outlined by the Chancellor which would not damage the country’s existing social fabric and future well being. Education spending, like all public sector spending, is an investment in our future.”

News Source:  http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/12082

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