Teachers and parents have reacted with anger on social media to the Chancellor’s budget claims that schools are to receive a one-off payment of £400m for “little extras.”
Schools in England will receive the sum to spend on “little extras they need” the chancellor, Philip Hammond, said when delivering the budget in parliament yesterday. The budget announcement comes just as England’s school leaders, including some in the local area, had begun campaigning for better funding. Many took to the streets of Whitehall to protest the pressures put on their budgets.
However, the £400m sum was met with anger by parents, teachers, union reps, campaigners and other politicians.
Campaign group, Save our Schools, described the announcement as “patronising” and a “big mistake” to reporters. They weren’t the only ones, after the budget had been laid out, #littleextras started trending on social media with many users pointing out that the £400m is less than the amount being allocated to fixing potholes.
Teachers on the TES Forum complained that the announcement made it seem like “these little extras are a bonus or a treat. A pack of dry wipe pens or glue sticks are essentials that a lot of schools are finding it harder to afford.”
Another comment read: “Photocopying must cost a fortune, but as we have no text books, we do more of it. The computers are on their last legs, we are short of chairs, so we have to grab them from other rooms if we can. Half the gas taps in my lab haven’t worked for over a year.”
In real terms, the money amounts to £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school on average. While teachers and school staff have said that any money will be gratefully received, that £10,000 would not account for 1% of the budget for even a small rural school. Such a sum would not, for instance, cover the cost of special educational support or staff’s wages.
School leaders’ union, NAHT, said in a statement: “This is a budget that will infuriate school leaders. Schools and young people are most definitely much too far down the government’s list of priorities.”