Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, looks at the recent funding announcement for schools and further education and how it well help better equip the current generation of children and young people for the world.
Doing the right thing
The pace of change in the world has never been more rapid. Our young people deserve to be properly equipped for taking their places in society. As Secretary of State for Education, I have the responsibility to do the right thing for all of our young people and the teachers who teach them.
Our schools and teachers have made amazing progress over the past years, raising academic standards and producing brilliant results, year on year. I want this to continue – because we must continue in our pursuit of excellence – but I know one important element of this effort is funding.
I truly appreciate the results achieved through the years of tight fiscal control, and I recognise that we can’t keep asking you to improve without adequate funding. I know you make every penny count in the classroom, so now it’s time to put more money into your hands.
I have therefore just announced that we’ll be investing over £14 billion between now and 2022/23, which means that funding for all schools can rise with inflation. Compared to this year, that is £2.6bn extra in 2020-21, £4.8bn in 2021-22 and £7.1bn in 2022-23 – all over and above continuing to fund the full costs of increased contributions to teacher pensions.
Improving support for children with SEND and investing in 16-19 education
I am particularly keen to make sure the children with the biggest challenges ahead, have the same opportunities to follow their chosen routes through education, as children from the most advantaged backgrounds do.
So, as part of the funding package, I am taking forward our historic reforms to the school funding system so that every child with the same needs gets the same amount of money, no matter where in England they live, levelling up per pupil funding to ensure rapid gains for the most underfunded schools, and putting over £700m into SEND, an increase of over 11% compared to this year’s allocations.
And, as someone who attended an FE college myself, I know their true worth and so I am also investing £400 million directly into 16-19 education.
In this rapidly changing world, we need more people with the right skills in the right areas in order to succeed and our FE sector can provide so many opportunities for young people who don’t want to go to university, as well as support for those that do.
Supporting great school cultures
Money is important, but money alone doesn’t make a great school. A school culture that nourishes its pupils and its teachers is priceless.
Poor behaviour can be devastating for pupils and teachers alike, so I want heads to feel confident to deal with issues and to know they have the government’s backing.
We will help by sharing best practice through new behaviour support networks, where schools with strong behaviour cultures share ideas, processes and techniques with other schools. We’re also adding new, evidence-based behaviour management material to the initial teacher training core content.
Finally, I am also committed to continuing to improve teacher recruitment and retention, and to respond to the challenges you have reported.
On recruitment, we need to attract more people into teaching – that’s why pay for a new teacher is set to increase to £30,000 by 2022.
But I know that’s just the start, we must then give those new teachers the proper support they need, so that they stay in teaching. Our previously announced Early Careers Framework will focus on just that and we’ll be announcing more details and pilot areas later this term.
The £14billion announced by the Prime Minister last week will ensure that pay can be increased for all teachers, and from September, we will be fully funding increased contributions into the Teachers' Pension Scheme: £1.5billion for schools and a further £100 million for 16-19 education.
This will allow school and college leaders to focus as much of their resources as possible on the front line. It means teachers will get an employer contribution of 23.6% on top of their salary, towards their pension every year, to ensure the scheme is fully funded.
Alongside this, we’re also working to improve flexibility for teachers through introducing a group of Ambassador Schools who will trial new flexible ways of working and share good practice.
The world is changing and we’re looking to the future. We’re looking to all of you working in our schools and colleges to make sure the next generation is ready to embrace that future.
The true impact of this funding increase will come when you all put it to work in your schools, colleges and classrooms. I know you’ll continue to make sure every single penny counts where it matters, and for that, you have my sincere thanks.
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