Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union

This General Election is About More Than Brexit

This election has to be about more than Brexit. In the last twenty-four hours Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson have once again tried to make this an election purely about one issue, Brexit - but the future of schools and education is at stake on 12 December. 

The facts speak for themselves:

  • 83 per cent of schools – that’s 16,523 – will still be facing cuts in April.
  • Schools currently need an additional £2.4bn to reverse cuts, in April that goes down to £2bn.
  • There are 420,000 more pupils but 3,500 fewer teachers than in 2015.
  • Primary class sizes are at their highest since 2000 making them the biggest in the developed world.
  • Secondary class sizes are rising at their fastest ever rate and the number of secondary pupils in classes over 30 is highest since 1981.
  • 70% of school building are not fit for purpose.

The 16- to 19-year-old further education sector has been promised £400m but with the huge cuts it has been subjected to, it still needs £1.1bn to keep afloat. While £230m is still needed for early years and maintained nursery provision.

The crisis in special education needs and disability funding continues - leaving our most vulnerable pupils either out of education or without the support they need to get the most out of their time at school.

Schools should be a massive consideration at the ballot box. It may suit some to make this a one-issue election but education is too important to be kept out of the debate. We urge everyone who values education to put education at the centre of how they approach this election, and to vote for education when polling day comes.

Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union

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