ASCL comment on Labour education plans

05/12/2019
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on Labour’s plans for education being announced today.
 
Commenting on Labour’s plans for education being announced today, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

Labour’s plans to recruit and train many more teachers are ambitious, but it is right to identify this as a key priority. Schools will need more teachers because of a huge increase in the number of secondary school pupils. But that is not the end of the story. More teachers are also needed in order to tackle the fact that far too many pupils are currently being taught in large classes of 31 or more because of funding cuts. The next government must ensure schools are able to deliver the basic expectations of parents – classes of no more than 30 pupils, and every child taught by a qualified teacher.

Similarly, Labour’s plan to spend £7 billion on school buildings is a huge commitment but it is badly needed because capital funding has simply not kept pace with need. This was identified in a National Audit Office report in 2017 which found that it would cost £6.7 billion to return all school buildings to satisfactory or better condition, and a further £7.1 billion to bring parts of school buildings from satisfactory to good condition. The school estate is a national asset, but it is currently in a state of decline and this must be addressed.”