Commenting on some of the key announcements in the Chancellor’s Budget statement relating to education, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:
“A significant proportion of the Chancellor’s Budget statement was re-announcements of measures already in progress and promises made but not yet delivered. The promise to curb the abuses of personal service companies, agencies which in education mercilessly exploit supply teachers, made last year, is a case in point. When will these promises be delivered? Agency workers need action taken now.
“The Chancellor began his statement by asserting that this was a budget for working people, but clearly this is not the case for hardworking, dedicated public service workers delivering vital services, who now face four more years of pay cuts.
“In education, this will further exacerbate the teacher recruitment and retention crisis and widen the already significant pay gap between teaching and other graduate professions. Teachers’ starting salaries are already 20% below other graduate professions.
“Having crowed in his statement that the increases in tuition fees had not deterred young people from disadvantaged backgrounds from going to university, the Chancellor then went on to remove the education maintenance allowance grant, setting another financial barrier for them to overcome.
“The cuts to tax credits, the removal of university maintenance grants and the measures which will make recruitment of graduates into teaching more difficult are a blow to the lives and life chances of millions of children and young people.
“One of the few positive measures in the Budget was the proposal to make a levy on large companies to support the training of apprenticeships. The NASUWT has long argued the benefits of employer training levies.
“However, overall once again we have a budget which conveniently forgets the millions of children and young people living in poverty and the growing injustice and inequality facing the most disadvantaged in our society.”
Press and Media Officer
0121 457 6239 / 07920 711069