TORY funding cuts will force English schools to sack staff and pack more pupils into every classroom, according to an alarming independent analysis revealed yesterday.
The House of Commons Library has forecast a “real terms cut in per pupil funding” that will leave schools £7.5 billion short by 2020.
English schools are already facing the biggest budget cuts since the last all-Tory government in the mid-1990s, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned.
Yet Chancellor George Osborne announced plans in the Budget to blow £1.5bn on forcing all 17,000 schools to become an academy.
Shadow education secretary Lucy Powell said: “With such financial challenges facing education under the Tories, this unnecessary and unfounded distraction to ‘academise’ all schools is irresponsible and reckless, and can only harm standards in our schools.”
Headteachers are having to make staff redundant and increase the number of pupils per teacher, MPs heard during a debate on government’s education plans.
Labour warned the variety of courses and extra-curricular activities will also be among the first victims of the funding cut.
Members of the NUT and ATL unions recently voted to begin a campaign of industrial action to oppose the government’s academisation plan.
ATL general secretary Mary Bousted said: “The government’s academies plan is all about ideology, rather than about what’s best for children and their parents since there’s no evidence converting schools to academies improves children’s education.”
National Association of Head Teachers leader Russell Hobby also said his members have “serious concerns” about the policy.
“It imposes massive costs on schools with very little evidence of benefit for children,” he said.