NUT slams government for revoking £384m in education funding

27 Jan 17

A report that the government has clawed back £384m of funding for schools amid a ‘cash crisis’ in education has sparked criticism from teaching unions.

The BBC reported today that cash earmarked for a scheme to transform all English schools into academies by 2020 was absorbed back into the Treasury when the plan was cancelled.

In May last year, the government said it had set aside more than £500m to build capacity in the programme. Shortly afterwards, however, Downing Street confirmed it had abandoned the scheme, after a rebellion from Conservative MPs.

The Department for Education told BBC that it was appropriate to recoup the cash in light of the fact the project did not go ahead.

Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said this was another example of the government failing to recognise the depth of the school funding crisis.

He said: “It demonstrates not just a lack of joined up thinking, but an apparent mission to ignore a crisis which has exacerbated on their watch.

“It is obvious that the money earmarked for school should remain available for schools.”

Courtney also referenced recent figures published by the National Audit Office which indicated schools would lose £3bn a year in real terms by 2020.

He urged the government to reinstate this funding and “use it to begin the urgent task of investing in our schools”.

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