JAMs to be hit hardest by school funding cuts, unions warn

School funding cuts will be worse than expected and children from ‘just about managing’ families (JAMs) will be hit hardest, according to the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

The two unions had predicted that overall schools’ funding would be cut by £2.5 billion, but the National Audit Office has since said it will be £3 billion.

Additionally, the unions said funding would be cut for every pupil in 92 per cent of England’s schools but, based on figures released by the Department for Education (DfE) for the National Funding Formula (NFF) consultation, this will be the case for 98 per cent of England’s schools.

Kevin Courtney, NUT general secretary, said: “These are shocking figures that will create despair in schools up and down the country. Far from being the levelling up of funding that councils and heads have demanded, the government is levelling down and schools across the country face real terms cuts in this Parliament. It is impossible to deliver an effective education to pupils if there is no money for staff, buildings, resources, materials, activities or a full subject choice. Parents and school governors should unite with teachers in demanding the Government fund our education properly. This is no way to run an education system. More money needs to be given to our schools to give the country an education system it can be proud of.”

Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary, said: “All the government’s warm words about protecting the poorest children look meaningless. Many schools are already struggling to make ends meet and are desperately trying to raise money from parents for school books and IT. These funding cuts will make the situation even more desperate. If the government doesn’t increase the overall amount of funding for schools, a generation of children will have a severely restricted education with nothing beyond the basic curriculum and thousands of school staff will lose their jobs. Parents and pupils will be furious that Government missed the opportunity with the new National Funding Formula to properly fund all schools and every child’s education.”

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