NAHT asks for funding assurances ahead of Autumn Statement

School leaders’ union NAHT has written an open letter to the Chancellor, Philip Hammond to ask for assurances on government spending on education.

In the letter, NAHT ask for four clear assurances from Mr Hammond, including that the proposed national funding formula includes an uplift in spending on schools and that teacher pay keeps pace with other professions. The letter also sets out the need to better support the poorest pupils, and ensure children’s mental health services get the funding they need.

NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby says: “this is a basic issue of fairness in education. The long promised national funding formula for schools will only work if there is sufficient money in the system to start with. We fear that no more money will be announced.”

Early indications from NAHT’s latest annual survey on school budgets are expected to show that more and more schools are struggling to balance their books. Last year 63 per cent of school leaders were making ‘significant’ cuts or dipping into reserves to stave off deficits. The 2016 survey, due out in December, suggests the figure could have risen to 71 per cent.

Russell Hobby says: “It’s getting more expensive to run schools and the government needs to recognise this, including meeting the shortfalls in funding for sixth forms, early years and for services previously provided by local authorities. Many school budgets are now beyond breaking point. The Chancellor needs to increase education spending or the quality of education on offer in many schools will begin to suffer.”

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