Parents campaigning for better education funding have penned a 'school report' for Justine Greening - and told her she must try harder.
Members of Save Our Schools published the report after Ms Greening, the secretary of state for education, announced an extra £2.6bn for schools over the next two years.
With headteachers and parents having campaigned for more than two years for more funding, there was praise for Ms Greening's 'listening skills' in the tongue-in-cheek report, though her maths skills came in for a battering.
The report, which was published on Facebook, read: "Justine has found addressing the issue of school funding this year quite challenging.
"Her listening skills have improved, and she has developed an understanding that schools need more money.
"Justine has not achieved ‘maths mastery’; she needs to show her working out – in particular what her numbers mean when divided by increasing numbers of pupils and demonstrating where the money might come from.
“Overall, her work requires improvement and she will need to work hard next term to meet parent and teacher expectations.”
In the House of Commons on Monday (July 17), Ms Greening laid out her plans for school funding over the next two years.
Announcing an extra £1.3bn per year for schools in 2018/19 and 2019/20, she told MPs the government was determined to listen to the concerns of the electorate – concerns which made themselves abundantly clear during the run-up to the general election.
She added: “The additional funding I am setting out today, together with the introduction of a national funding formula, will provide schools with the investment they need to offer a world-class education to every child.”
The government had pledged to pump an extra £4bn into education over the next four years, but Ms Greening said any spending beyond 2019/20 would be “set out in a future spending review”.
This raises questions as to whether the remaining £1.4bn will ever appear.
None of the £2.6bn will be ‘new’ money.
Instead, Ms Greening made “efficiencies and savings” within the Department for Education to raise the cash.
MPs questioned whether that was “robbing Peter to pay Paul” but Ms Greening said the alternative was to raise tax, which was “not the right thing to do”.
The reaction from Sussex MPs was mixed.
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, and co-leader of the Green Party, said the announcement sounded promising until you scratched the surface.
She added: “Despite the best efforts of this country’s teachers, schools are struggling to cope. The government is promising some new funds for our schools, but in the wake of the cuts already made and with pupil numbers set to rise this increase simply isn’t enough.
“What’s clear is that the Tories are trying to alleviate pressure on them – but I know that parents and teachers won’t give up this cause until schools have the funding they need to deliver world-class education to every child in this country.”
Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames said: "The Conservatives are committed to ending the postcode lottery of school funding – so all children receive the education they deserve, wherever they live.
"This announcement sends a clear message that we are committed to raising standards and giving every child the best possible education and the best possible opportunities for their future."
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