Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 February 2019

Tory education 'reforms': "a tiny drop in a stormy ocean"

Billions of pounds have been cut from schools funding by the Tory government, photo Nick Chaffey

Billions of pounds have been cut from schools funding by the Tory government, photo Nick Chaffey   (Click to enlarge)

A teacher and National Education Union member

As the Brexit crisis continues to engulf the government in Westminster, we continue to pay for a very real crisis that has unfolded since the 2007-08 crash.

The state of our schools and the impact on young people, especially their mental wellbeing, is a national disgrace. The teacher recruitment and retention crisis inspired an unprecedented march of a thousand head teachers in the autumn.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has been forced to respond by introducing measures to try to attract more graduates and to keep staff. While any positive reforms should be welcomed, these changes are a tiny drop in a stormy ocean.

The Department for Education proposed slightly increasing bursary payments for new teachers, while shifting some payments to the third and fifth year of teaching, to keep staff.

However, when 40,000 teachers leave the profession over a 12-month period, many down to unsustainable workload and unbearable monitoring regimes, structural reforms are needed.

Teacher contracts still allow for open-ended workloads and many newly qualified teachers are burnt out within a few years and will never see much of their 'golden handshakes'.

Hinds proposes 130 million for training, but when there have been 2.3 billion real-terms cuts, this is papering over gaping wounds in the support that's needed.

If the Tories were serious about saving education, they'd listen to the trade unions that have clearly identified what is needed.

They must reverse all cuts to education to reduce class sizes and boost the numbers employed in our schools. And they should introduce a new teachers' contract which caps teacher working hours and guarantees at least 20% planning and preparation time so we can do our job well within reasonable hours.

There should also be a boost to education workers' pay which has been cut by over 4,000 on average since 2010.

We know that none of this will be gifted to us, and the parlous state of education has come about partly because of a lack of a lead given by the education unions to fight these attacks.

The recent indicative ballot conducted by the National Education Union (NEU) on school funding should prepare the ground for a serious confrontation with the government. With public sector union Unison also balloting school staff there is the potential for coordinated industrial action.

The NEU should draw up a battle plan of strikes and a national demonstration on education funding. The education unions also need to be prepared to back up their recent 5% pay claim with action.

There is enough money in society to pay for a decent education for all, but that money is concentrated in the hands of big business and 'PFI' privatisation firms, who bleed our schools dry.

We must link this fight to the need to change society and build a socialist education system based on the needs of our communities and not the interests of the fat cats and their mouthpieces in Westminster.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 27 February 2019:

What we think

Honda closure threatened

From anger to action to save Honda plant

Socialist Party feature

Defending the city that dared to fight

Council cuts

Kirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts

Leicester: cuts passed in record time - use the 100m reserves!

Worcestershire: save the nine libraries

Socialist Party news and analysis

Kick out austerity politicians

Socialist change, not climate change!

Tory education 'reforms'

Blairite traitor Ian Austin - byelection now!

Cuts councils massage homelessness figures

US: "Launch a mass, working-class fightback"

Workplace news and analysis

Supermarket giants merger: protect jobs and fight price hikes

Birmingham Bin workers and home carers strike on same day

University and College Union: anti-union laws frustrate strike ballot again

Manchester posties strike against bullying

Liverpool Women's Hospital

PCS union: help us win the elections and pay campaign

South East Unison annual general meeting votes for no-cuts budgets

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

E-subscribe to the Socialist today!

Tommy Robinson BBC demo: socialist fightback needed to undermine far right

Nottingham Labour Corbyn rally

PCS union branch opposes cuts to women's services

International Women's Day meetings and other events

Five years on - and still no justice for Zane


Non-fiction: 'Unhealthy Profits: PFI in the NHS'

Art exhibition: 'Unobtania' by Peter Robson

The Socialist inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 27 February 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleA-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

triangleA socialist programme for schools

triangleTory full return to school plans gamble with lives

triangleTowards an anti-racist school curriculum

triangleOppose the Welsh government's reckless return to school plan


triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleFully fund schools - stand firm on safety

triangleCumbria: Teachers, parents and socialists fight reckless school reopening

triangleSchools... no going back until it's safe


triangleCampaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

triangleWhat would socialist universities look like?

triangleWorkplace news in brief


triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: A socialist schools policy

triangleBoris's new big deal

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system



Capitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation


Labour Party

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation



NHS pay: 15% for all now



From first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures



What would socialist universities look like?



Huawei: what's behind Johnson's u-turn?



Fight for our livelihoods... Fight for our lives!



Saving the music industry from pandemic and austerity



Luton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!


The Socialist

Getting the Socialist over the summer



Fight for the NHS



Tories using pandemic to privatise NHS more


Them & Us

Them & Us



Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020