Speaking about the publication of think tank Reform’s report, ‘Must do better’, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union said:

“This crude attempt to draw a correlation between funding levels and educational attainment is misguided and methodologically flawed.

“It appears to be designed to create the conditions for the Coalition Government to end the current protections which are already only minimal and inadequate.

“Differential funding has long been a key, inherent part of the funding system for schools which face particular challenges, and rightly so. It is therefore completely meaningless to try to use this fact to conclude that there is no relationship between levels of investment in schools and the quality of educational opportunities made available to children and young people.

“Rather than slashing education budgets, countries whose education systems are regarded as high-performing and fast improving are characterised by a clear commitment to sustaining levels of investment in their education systems.

“In this country, there was a substantial increase of investment in a historically underfunded system between 1997 and 2010 which led to sustained and significant increases in pupil performance. The reduction in the schools budget in real terms since 2010 has clearly put the gains achieved during this period at risk.

“Any moves to jeopardise still further the financial position of schools, as this report suggests, will only serve to exacerbate the serious problems the country’s educational system faces as a result of the Coalition Government’s needless and damaging austerity agenda.”

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