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‘Condescending’, ‘patronising’ and ‘an insult’ are just some of the words used to describe this week’s education budget by Phillip Hammond. And now after a week of reviewing the opinions of education staff and parents across the country, it’s evident there’s an overwhelming feeling of upset and anger over the ‘little extras’ promised as “a one-off capital payment directly to schools.”
Notably, as Hammond began his speech, education secretary Damian Hinds decided to not take a seat in the front bench, prompting worry from the outset.
The budget announcement of £10,000 for primary and £50,000 for secondary schools comes at a time when there is a severe lack of funds for schools. Especially as the National Audit Office (NAO) has ‘estimated an additional £6.7bn is needed just to bring England’s school buildings back to a satisfactory amount.’
Further adding to the dismay of headteachers, the chancellor described the £400 million budget bonus in an interview with Good Morning Britain as a “nice gesture.”
Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, spoke after the budget and added: “[…] This shows how desperately out of touch the Tories are when tens of thousands of teachers, teaching assistants and support staff have been cut, and headteachers are begging parents for money for basic supplies.”
Perhaps just a poor choice of language on Hammond’s behalf, but schools up and down the country will be waiting with bated breath to see what will come from the spending review in 2019.
What did you make of Phillip Hammond’s autumn budget announcements? How will you be spending this extra funding on your school? We’d love to hear your thoughts.