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Spending Review “betrayal” will damage state education, says Toby Perkins MP

Toby Perkins, Labour’s new front bench Shadow Education Minister joined shadow secretary of state for Education, Andy Burnham in condemning the government’s ‘Pupil premium con’.

Commenting on today’s Spending Review announcements, Andy Burnham said,

“George Osborne’s words are already unravelling. The small print shows that he has sold out our children. The much vaunted pupil premium turns out to be a complete con.

“It does not come from outside the schools budget as the Coalition Agreement promised – we find out today that it is to be recycled from within it, creating huge winners and losers among schools.

“Nick Clegg has failed to secure his “reddest of red lines” in another huge broken promise to our young people. He has chosen a power premium for himself and his friends over a pupil premium for our children.”

Pupil premium a con

The Coalition Agreement said the pupil premium would be funded ‘from outside the schools budget‘. Today’s Green Book makes clear that in fact ‘the premium will sit within a generous overall settlement for schools’. They have broken the terms of the Coalition Agreement and Nick Clegg has not secured his ‘reddest of red lines’.

School funding per pupil cut in real terms

Including the pupil premium, the real terms increase on the schools budget will be just 0.1%. Because of increasing pupil numbers, this will amount to a real terms cut in funding per pupil. The new premium is simply recycling existing funding from one school to another, producing winners and losers. As a result, some schools are facing significant cuts, hence reports today of 40,000 teaching jobs at risk.

Gove sell out on school building

Today’s statement also confirms massive cuts of 60% to the school building programme, twice the level of overall capital spending reduction. This is the biggest capital cut of any Department outside local government, flatly contradicting the Chancellor’s claims to be investing in our children’s future.

Gove breaks promise to young people as EMA replaced

Today’s statement confirmed another broken promise from the Coalition – Michael Gove said in March ‘we won’t scrap EMA’ but today we hear it is to be replaced. Scrapping EMA, alongside massive hikes to tuition fees, means that the Government’s claims to support social mobility will ring very hollow for young people from less well off backgrounds.

Toby Perkins said: “School children and parents have been sadly betrayed. The new money that was promised has disappeared into the mist, and all that’s left is a re-direction of funds that looks set to send money from more deprived Councils to Shire and rural counties. The cuts to our next generation of school buildings are more drastic than even we dared fear, and the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance removes the last vestiges of fairness from a statement that will go down as the day this government’s claim to fairness was exposed as a sham.”

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  1. […] did he promise not to cut the EMA. Super FAIL . Just another day in the Bla-La-land of poli-ticks, […]


Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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