Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, slammed the Government in the Budget Debate today in Parliament after the Chancellor provided nothing but £400 million to allow schools to “buy the little extras they need”, or £10,000 per primary school.
Daniel Zeichner said:
“This Budget failed on substance but there was also the tone. Promising a paltry £400 million for schools “to buy the little extras that they need” is an affront. A shameless insult. The Chancellor may say that this is separate from schools funding being considered in the spending review, but teachers and parents in my constituency have a very clear message for this Government – schools are stretched to breaking point, and they cannot afford to wait.“
“This line from the Chancellor, reminiscent of a 1950s patriarch to a subjugated wife – ‘get yourself some little extras, don’t step out of line, how dare you ask for more’ – shows the disrespect that this government has for not only our hard-working teachers and schools, but for future generations too. “
“I have been told, by two separate heads, that if funding does not improve then their school will be forced to make redundancies, despite staff already being overstretched. More staff are going off sick because of stress and anxiety. Some staff recruited internationally have trouble getting visas. The number of children with complex and special educational needs has increased, but schools do not have the resources to provide the support these children need.“
“And it’s not simply schools where this Budget fails. Not a mention of maintained nursery schools. When I visited a local nursery last month, they told me that without extra help, they will hit the buffers next April. They tell me that cuts to local government funding has meant that they could lose up to 30% of their income.“
“And the Budget did not even mention further education. The Further Education Commissioner told the education select committee earlier this year that further education funding is “unfair” and “sparse”. I’ve seen this at Cambridge Regional College, which I visit regularly. Their staff do excellent work with students and apprentices from across the East of England, but the college remains under-resourced and overstretched. “
“For a government which claims it cares about skills, this is a disgrace; failing to provide young people with the education they need to succeed, by crippling education budgets so time is spent on scrimping and organising substitute teachers to plug the gaps, rather than on educating future generations“