Parliamentary stand-off as Labour attacks funding gaps

Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education in England, appeared to be clearly irritated with the opposition she faced from her Labour Party counter-part Angela Rayner today in the UK Parliament. Having announced changes to the funding formula proposed for schools in England, Justine Greening was “staggered” with the criticism fired from Angela Rayner citing real-term educational funding cuts that have been evident during the previous few years. Greening refused to respond to the points and questions raised by her shadow Parliamentarian, deciding to only respond to more considered questions from other members of the house.

The altercation came after Justine Greening shared plans to tackle the historical postcode lottery in school funding. The plans, to be introduced from 2018-2019 include:

  • more than 10,000 schools will gain funding, including more than 3,000 receiving an increase of more than 5% - up to 3% in per pupil funding in 2018 to 2019 and a further 2.5% in 2019 to 2020
  • significant protections have also been built into the formula so that no school will face a reduction of more than more than 1.5% per pupil per year or 3% per pupil overall
  • for pupils with high-level special educational needs (high needs), where funding changes could be even more acutely felt by the most vulnerable young people in our society, no area will see their funding reduce.

Local authorities due to see gains on high needs will see increases of up to 3% in each of 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

“Our proposed reforms will mean an end to historical unfairness and underfunding for certain schools. We need a system that funds schools according to the needs of their pupils rather than their postcode, levelling the playing field and giving parents the confidence that every child will have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.”

But, in response, the Shadow Education Secretary challenged funding cuts currently at 10% in real terms, and the cuts are being made at a time when teaching numbers are already facing a crises.


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