Commenting on Boris Johnson’s victory in the Conservative Party leadership contest, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“Congratulations to Mr Johnson on his success in the Conservative Party leadership contest. We wish him well as our next Prime Minister.
“We hope he will immediately make good on his promise during the leadership campaign to reverse the education cuts. To achieve this objective he needs to invest an additional £12.6bn by 2022/23, rather than the £4.6bn he has pledged.
“Nevertheless, his commitment is a step in the right direction after years of government denial over the scale of the crisis facing the education system.
“As a matter of urgency, he must provide government funding for the total cost of the pay award for teachers which was announced yesterday, so that schools are able to implement the increase without making further cuts.
“The government’s expectation that schools should fund the first 2% of the 2.75% award from budgets which have already been cut to the bone is unrealistic and damaging.
“In the longer term, Mr Johnson must help to shape a brighter and more optimistic vision for education by improving support for struggling schools, easing the grinding pressure of exams and accountability, and boosting teacher recruitment and retention.
“Schools and colleges do a fantastic job despite very challenging circumstances, but they need more resources and vision from the government.”
A coalition fighting for improved funding for education has set out a long-term plan which shows that a total of £12.6bn extra would be needed by 2022/23 in order to reverse education cuts. The analysis is backed by three leading education unions, the National Education Union (NEU), the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), as well as the f40 education fair funding campaign group, which is made up of 42 local authorities who are among the lowest funded for education in England. For more details see: Coalition unveils long-term funding plan to reverse education cuts. 15 July 2019.