Caroline Lucas says school funding offer ‘a slap in the face’ for headteachers

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion

The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion has spoken out after Chancellor Philip Hammond earmarked £400m to schools for ‘little extras’.

He announced the funding in the Budget yesterday (October 29), saying the cash amounted to £10,000 each for primary schools and £50,000 for secondaries.

Related stories: Sussex MPs react to Budget 2018

Peter Kyle: Why colleges need fairer funding

But Caroline Lucas said: “This Budget laid bare just how out of touch this Government is. Philip Hammond’s pittance for schools to buy ‘little extras’ is a slap in the face for headteachers who can’t cover the basic costs of staff, building repairs and support for children with special educational needs. And once again our struggling colleges went ignored.

“His extra funding for Universal Credit, which has plunged thousands into financial difficulty across Brighton, doesn’t begin to repair the damage caused by yearly welfare payment freezes and austerity.

“And worst of all, just two weeks after the world’s top scientists warned we have 12 years to avoid complete climate breakdown, the Chancellor failed to even mention climate change.

“The only good news came for Brighton’s vibrant small businesses with the drop in business rates I’ve long campaigned for. Now he must match that support with replacement funding for local authorities, who rely on the money raised from rates.

“This Budget wrote off our children’s futures while making no tangible difference to people’s lives in Brighton. The Chancellor won’t be forgiven.”

The school funding offer was also criticised by Save Our Schools, a parent-led campaign group in Brighton and Hove, said: “#littleextras how patronising. What about the rest? You’ve pledged more to potholes #schoolcuts #budget2018.”