UK: NASUWT conference demands supportive funding reform
The planned reforms on school funding by the British government need to recognise the local needs of all schools and support equality of opportunity and achievement for every pupil, says British education union NASUWT.
Representatives at the Annual Conference of the NASUWT, member of Education International in the UK,have gathered between the 25th and the 28th of March in Birmingham to discuss hot topics in education, from tax justice and discrimination in schools to the commercialisation and privatisation of education.
The Conference has called on the Government to provide greater clarity and detail of how its plans to reform the funding formula will impact on individual schools and to ensure effective arrangements are in place to safeguard standards of educational provision in all schools during the transition to the new system.
Funding formula will impact students’ future
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, stressed that “as a result of the Government’s failure to protect school budgets in real terms, jobs have been lost, vital support services on which school rely have been scaled back or withdrawn altogether and the range of educational options for young people have been curtailed.” According to Keates, the result is that schools are now facing further anxiety as a result of the Government’s plan to revise the national school funding formula.
The NASUWT was concerned that the revised funding formula “is likely to create winners and losers, with the consequent impact on children’s education.”, Keates reminded, and encouraged the Government to instead aim towards “a funding system that is capable of recognising local needs and circumstances and which is democratically accountable”, as the best way to ensure that the needs of children and young people across very different contexts and circumstances are met.
A global demand
Education International (EI) is taking part in the demand for a just and adequate funding of education through its involvement in the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. This newly-created UN body brings together over thirty commissioners, including former Presidents and Prime Ministers, Nobel prize winners and renowned activists in the field of education. Teopista Birungi Mayanja, Founder of the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) and former member of the Executive Board of EI will raise the global teachers’ voice to this international level. You can follow the Commission’s work on its website and on twitter.