Labour to boost school funding by £25bn over three years

Elliot Chappell

Labour will invest an additional £25bn in schools over three years to raise standards with a number of policies aimed at improving educational outcomes.

The funding, to be announced on Thursday, would come from the £5.5bn increase for schools outlined in Labour’s manifesto and the accompanying ‘grey book‘ costing document.

The plans include:

  • Capping all class sizes to 30 pupils;
  • Guaranteeing that every child is taught by a qualified teacher, by ensuring 25,000 currently unqualified staff are fully trained during Labour’s first term in office;
  • Ensuring teachers will have more times for lesson plans;
  • Investing in making buildings safe with a new fund of £7bn to deal with the backlog of vital repairs;
  • Closing the gap in funding for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities with extra funding to reverse deficits in the high needs budget;
  • Reversing cuts to the pupil premium and increasing spending on it to above inflation.

Commenting on the proposals, Angela Rayner said: “Labour will transform education standards in this country for every child, capping class sizes and ensuring every child is taught by a qualified teacher in a safe school building.

“We will invest in record per pupil funding, restore the pupil premium and close the gap in support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, to give every child the support they need.”

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Labour’s plans for school spending would almost double the increase in per pupil funding being proposed by the Conservatives.

The £25bn promised by Labour is significantly higher than the £14bn spending commitment from the Tories – and Boris Johnson’s party has not committed to maintaining the pupil premium.

Rayner added: “The Tories cannot be trusted to do this. They have slashed school funding for the first time in a generation, leaving pupils taught by unqualified teachers, crammed in to super-sized classes, and not receiving the support they need.”

Labour says its investment would follow almost a decade of austerity in schools, with a real-terms freeze in school funding under both the coalition and Conservative governments.

Over 600,000 children are being taught by unqualified teachers and nearly half a million are learning in ‘super-sized’ classes – an increase of 29% since 2010, the party has found.

Labour’s latest announcement follows a recently released report from the OECD, which revealed that schoolchildren in Britain are more likely to be “miserable” and have low life satisfaction compared to pupils in other countries.

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