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Join us in calling for the Welsh Government to revise the draft budget proposals 2020/21

Welsh Government has published its draft budget for 2020/21, showing how much money is going to be spent on education in Wales over the next financial year.

The proposed expenditure of £1.78 billion sees a virtually flat-lined budget when taking into account inflation and the years of crippling austerity.

The review of school funding, which will be published this summer, is welcomed news however our fear as a union was that schools cannot afford to wait for a report to tell us how bad things are; we already know and there was hope that this budget may have taken on board our pleas. This does not seem to be the case.

Therefore, we are asking headteachers, teachers, school support staff, governors, parents, politicians and anyone who has an interest in education to sign our petition today.

This petition is calling for AMs of all parties to look at what is being proposed.  This budget does not go anywhere near tackling the issues facing our schools. 

The formulae used to calculate how much is spent on educating a pupil relies on outdated information and varies dramatically between Local Authorities depending on the weighting given to factors such as age profile of pupils, deprivation, language of provision, number of pupils with Additional Learning Needs and pre-compulsory age provision.

When schools are looking at closing early to save money, when staff are being made redundant to balance the books and when parents are being asked to make financial donations for the bare necessities like reading books and pens, Welsh Government needs to step in.

Our children cannot afford to wait for the results of a review before action is taken.  

Education is an investment, not a cost and we urge you support us in the fight for fair funding for schools.

The letter:

Dear First Minister,

We write to you on behalf of the 1,500 schools in Wales serving more than 400,000 children and young people and we implore you to use the 2020/21 budget to deliver the investment in schools in Wales that we so desperately need.

The proposed expenditure on education set our so far of £1.78 billion does not come close to repairing the damage done to education spending due to the years of austerity.

Budget highlights include £8m funding for ALN, but this will do nothing to address needs of schools where children need additional support.  With 120,000 with ALN in Wales, £8m equates to £66 per child which is an insult to the pupils and their families who are battling so hard to get their children the education they deserve and puts school leaders in an impossible position.

£25m on rolling out a new curriculum in Wales is all well and good but when schools are in deficit positions, struggling to retain good teachers and support staff, and school leaders are coming under increased pressure, the new curriculum, although welcomed, could see schools struggling to deliver.  

The announcement of £15m to help with the professional learning of teachers is positive, but we still need good teachers to deliver it.  How is that going to be possible when schools are down to the bone in terms of staffing?

There has been no mention of the consequentials from UK Government to Wales – Boris Johnson announced an additional £14 billion on primary school education in the UK between now and 2022/23, yet there is nothing in this budget that says what share Wales will get and if it is going to be given straight to schools.

We ask that you look at the budget again, find out how much extra money is being promised from Westminster for education through consequentials and commit to ring-fencing that money to education.

Education is not a cost, it is an investment and our schools need your help.

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* 1. Your name (as you would like it to appear on the letter):

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* 2. Your school:

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* 3. Your position:

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* 4. Your school's town/city:

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* 6. Your email address (this will only be used to communicate with you about this letter, it will not be included):

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* 7. I consent to my name, school, position, town/city and local authority being included on the Wales letter to the First Minister (your email address will only be used to communicate with you about this letter):

0 of 7 answered