Angela Rayner: 'The outlook for schools is bleak – but teachers are battling on, and we must salute them for it'

At the start of a new term, Angela Rayner, Labour’s shadow education secretary, has multiple concerns about funding cuts, teacher supply and the government’s commitment to new grammar schools.


As teachers go back to work in the classroom this week, the future for our schools looks bleak.


For the first time in nearly 20 years, the schools budget will not be protected in real terms nor will it rise over the course of this parliament.  


Increased costs, including inflation and a rise in pupil numbers, mean that the schools budget will be facing real terms cuts for the first time in a generation.


Already there has been a sharp rise in the number of secondary schools which are in deficit - nearly 60 per cent of them are in the red, according to the independent National Audit Office (NAO).


Its recent report confirmed that, due to a failure to increase per pupil funding in line with inflation, there will be a “real terms reduction” in funding per pupil. 


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