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School leaders lay out what is needed for education in the government’s Spending Review

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary
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Ahead of the #SpendingReview on 27th October 2021, school leaders’ union NAHT lays out what is needed from the Chancellor to achieve the government’s ‘levelling up’ ambition.

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, says:

“It is time for the government to back up their rhetoric on ‘levelling up’ with investment. This is the moment of truth. If significant investment into education is not forthcoming from the Chancellor this week, then all the government’s fine words will be shown to be hollow, empty promises.

“There has been much said about education recovery in recent months: what form it should take, what pupils have missed out on, and what it will cost. The government’s own education recovery Tsar recommended an investment of £15bn, and EPI have recommended £13.5bn. That’s the kind of investment schools need to get the job done. Anything less is a failure of care to our nation’s children.

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“Per pupil funding in real terms will be lower in 2023 than it was in 2010. Schools have been forced to make cuts to staff, activities, and the support and care they are able to offer. The government’s failure to invest is harming the chances of young people. This has been starkly revealed by the pandemic, which has had a deep social, economic and educational impact.

“But investment is about more than just recovery. The government’s goals for education should be more ambitious. In a changing, challenging world, our goal must be to equip young people with the skills to navigate what is in front of them. The government must see education as an investment in this country’s future, not a drain on finances.

“Now is the moment for the government to propose – and pay for – something truly ambitious and world-beating.”

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