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News archive - July/August 2019

Boris to boost school spending

Boris to boost school spending

In the run-up to the Tory leadership election, Boris Johnson said he would boost England’s schools budget by £4.6bn boost per year from 2022/23 if he enters Number 10, as he declared education was his highest priority.

The move would reverse education funding cuts imposed by the then-chancellor George Osborne in 2015. Total school spending per pupil was frozen between 2015-16 and 2017-18, a move the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank says has translated to a real-terms cut of around 4%.

The former Foreign Secretary said: “The 2016 referendum result was a clear cry from many people that they have been left behind. As Conservative councillors and members all over the country know, for too many years, schools in rural regions have received much less funding than schools in other parts of the country.”

He added: “By making sure we leave the EU on 31 October, we can make sure that we level up all parts of the UK, invest in our schools and close the opportunity gap in our country.”

Johnson also pledged to ensure that all primary schools receive at least £4,000 in funding per pupil - a £306m total uplift on current spending, based on £3,500 for every pupil. The pledge followed his earlier campaign commitment to lift secondary school funding to £5,000 per pupil - £200 higher that the Government’s current pledge for 2019-20.

Responding, Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: “His supposed pledge doesn’t come close to reversing all the cuts that the Tories have imposed on education, let alone match Labour’s plans to invest in a national education service.”

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