Unions welcome Labour’s plan to invest £25bn in education
Unions have welcomed Labour’s plan to invest £25bn in education.
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner will today announce Labour will:
- Cap all class sizes at 30 by recruiting nearly 20,000 more teachers
- Guarantee that every child is taught by a qualified teacher, ensuring around 25,000 currently unqualified staff are fully trained during Labour’s first term in office
- Ensure teachers will have more time for lesson planning and professional development
- Invest in ensuring that all school buildings are safe, with a new fund of over £7bn to tackle the backlog of vital but overdue repairs and install safety measures such as sprinklers
- Close the gap in funding for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, with extra funding to reverse deficits in the High Needs Budget
- Fully reverse cuts to the Pupil Premium, and increase spending on it above inflation to support the most disadvantaged pupils.
Angela Rayner said: “Labour will transform education standards in this country for every child, capping class sizes and ensuring every child is taught by a qualified teacher in a safe school building.
“We will invest in record per pupil funding, restore the Pupil Premium and close the gap in support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, to give every child the support they need.
“The Tories cannot be trusted to do this. They have slashed school funding for the first time in a generation, leaving pupils taught by unqualified teachers, crammed in to super-sized classes, and not receiving the support they need.”
NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “Labour’s plan for investment in education and in teachers is very welcome news both for parents and the profession.
“The increases in class sizes, the lack of qualified teachers in many classes, the cuts in support for SEND pupils and the growing teacher recruitment and retention crisis, shows the current Government is failing in its basic educational job.
“At the same time our school buildings have been falling into disrepair – all these problems are a direct result of the current government’s decision to cut real-terms funding to our schools and colleges.
“Children and young people have only one chance to go to school, it deserves to be the best.
“The plan outlined by Labour will address the years of underfunding and allow schools to heal and to plan improvements, increasing SEND support, supporting teachers and other staff, capping class sizes and improving our school buildings.
“It will give hope to teacher and headteachers up and down the country.
“This is exactly the support and vision for education that teachers, headteachers, support staff and parents have been crying out for.”
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Schools are paying a high price for government cuts, which have starved them of funding for years. Slashed staffing numbers, rising class sizes and dilapidated buildings are the legacy of a public-school elite with little interest in providing quality education for every child and young person.
“Labour has unveiled a vision of a progressive education system. Investing in staff, pupils and buildings is the only way to reverse the damage inflicted by a callous, self-serving government.”
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