The Tories have pledged to spend more money on their free schools vanity project than every other school in England over the next 3 years, today’s budget reveals.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced he will spend £320 million extra on new free schools by the end of this Parliament.
That will be enough to open 140 new schools – including grammars – but only 30 will have opened by September 2020.
By contrast, the other 24,288 state-funded primary and secondary schools got a measly £216 million extra allocated to them for school maintenance.
Here’s a screen grab of the budget document:
By our calculation that’s just £8,893 for each state-funded school between now and 2020 – compared to over £2.3 million for every free school to be opened.
The National Union of Teachers has calculated that “98% of schools will see a real terms loss in funding per pupil between now and 2020.” General Secretary Kevin Courtney pointed out:
In the Prime Minister’s constituency of Maidenhead, for instance, schools are set to lose an average of real terms loss of £377 per pupil, while the schools in Philip Hammond’s constituency of Runnymede and Weybridge will lose an average of £285 per pupil during the same period.
And if that’s not enough, the Government has pencilled in a further £655 million for free schools in 2021/22 – compared to £0 for investment in existing state schools.
As the 2015 Tory manifesto said: “A good education is not a luxury; it should be a right for everyone.”