Only one week left to vote in the NUT ATL unity ballot – use your vote, and vote yes to the new National Education Union!
Commenting on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s speech, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“This budget is a complete dereliction of duty to our children and young people. The Chancellor knows full well that schools and sixth form colleges up and down the country are on their knees struggling to make ends meet. School budgets have been cut to the bone, class sizes have increased, subjects have been dropped from the curriculum, materials and resources are scarce yet nothing has been done to address this very serious problem. All this comes at a time of soaring pupil numbers and a developing crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.
“Despite the Conservative Party manifesto pledging a real-terms increase in the schools’ budget during this Parliament, the reality is far from the case. 98% of schools will see a real terms loss in funding per pupil between now and 2020. This takes into account the Government’s proposed ‘fair funding’ formula. In the Prime Minister’s constituency of Maidenhead, for instance, schools are set to lose an average of real terms loss of £377 per pupil, while the schools in Philip Hammond’s constituency of Runnymede and Weybridge will lose an average of £285 per pupil during the same period.
“Instead of tackling this crisis of their own making, we now learn that extra funding will pour into the opening of new free schools and grammar schools for which there is absolutely no need. Parents and teachers will be deeply dismayed at this flagrant and irresponsible waste of money. These are simply the wrong priorities.
“Any improvement to the current state of technical and vocational is welcome, but teachers will be concerned that introducing ‘T-Levels’ will increase the separation of academic and vocational pathways. As with its policy on grammar schools, the Government is fixated on creating educational divides – to the detriment of young people. The NUT supports a reformed, unified system of 14-19 curriculum and qualifications which helps bring an end to the notion that academic and technical learning pathways are an ‘either/or’ option.
“The money proposed for investment in school refurbishment will be welcome providing it is actually new money and will be spent on ensuring that school buildings are fit for purpose and safe from the dangers of asbestos. Nevertheless, with the National Audit Office having recently reported that it would cost some £6.7 billion to repair all school buildings to a satisfactory standard, we require much more substantial investment from the Government.
“The Government must focus on the funding crisis in our schools and colleges. The Chancellor had an opportunity to rectify this in his Budget but chose not to. This is an outrageous situation. Parents, teachers and MPs, many within the Conservative Party, will not stand by and allow this to happen.”
Manchester City Council, local trade unions and community groups are coming together in Manchester on Saturday 25 February to highlight the devastating effects of cut backs to health, social care, and education, to the local community.
A torch-lit march will leave Castlefield Arena at 5pm, and after arriving at Albert Square, will hear calls for these basic services to be properly funded from a number of local and national figures, including Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, and Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers. Other speakers will be confirmed.
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary, NUT, said: “The Government is keen at every turn to define its new funding formula for schools as ‘fair funding’, but this is nonsense. It cannot be fair without new money. There is a gaping hole in the school budget and it is only set to increase through inflation and a rise in pupil numbers. The Government’s planned formula ensures that 98.5% of schools will see their funding per pupil fall in real terms. Every demographic of school is hit – rural schools, inner city schools, grammars, secondary moderns, academies, and faith schools. All will lose funding. There are no winners from the Government’s education policy, only losers and worse losers.”
John Morgan, Secretary of Manchester NUT, added “Here in Manchester we are already starting to see the effects, with large cuts planned to the Sensory Support Service, and a number of schools announcing re-organisations and planned redundancies just since January. This situation is guaranteed to worsen.”
Tory cuts to social care and education budgets have gone too far. There simply isn’t enough money to care for vulnerable people and help our young people thrive in our city.
Older people, those needing support for mental health, disabilities and learning difficulties, and those affected by homelessness, alcohol and drugs, are being hit by drastic funding cuts driven through by Theresa May’s heartless government.
Join us to protest about cuts in social care funding and the Tory attack on our schools.
Meet at Castlefield Arena, Saturday 25th February, 5pm for a torchlight march to the rally in Albert Square.
Bring your family and friends to stand up for Manchester.
Come out with us on Saturday 25th February. Stand up for your city and send a strong message to Theresa May
An agenda for the General Meeting on 15th February can be found here
The MTA AGM is on Weds 25th February at Hough End, Mauldeth Road West, at 5pm. There will be hot and cold refreshments and the agenda can be found here.
Please try to attend, an update on the NUT/ATL merger will be provided.
The December issue of The Manchester Teacher can be found here
Manchester City Council are currently recruiting foster carers for Manchester children. They are seeing a pattern of people enquiring about fostering who have previously worked with children and young people such as teachers, teaching assistants and childminders. For more information see here
Are you a disabled NUT member, or interested in disabled issues?
As a result of this year’s Disabled Teachers’ Conference, colleagues are meeting in Manchester for lunch and a general chat, with the aim of coming up with ways to improve the working lives of all disabled NUT members in the NW.
The meeting will take place at The Left Bank Café at The People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER, at 1:30 pm on Saturday 12th November. All interested members are welcome.