Association of Teachers and Lecturers: This Government is more concerned about low taxation for the wealthy than about young learners

Martin Johnson, deputy general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), responds to figures released today which show education funding faces biggest spending reduction since the 1950s:

"The independent and authoritative Institute of Fiscal Studies has blown away ministers' economy with the truth about their education cuts. Almost all schools will suffer real-term cuts during this government's term in office, and there will be even greater cuts to early years’ education, youth services and provision for 16-19 year olds in schools and colleges.

"Halving spending on school buildings is not only bad for learners, too many of whom are still learning in cold, damp and draughty classrooms, but it is also bad for the economy which would benefit from a boost to the building industry.

"Over the past ten years, the previous government managed to raise spending on education to the international average as a proportion of national income, yet now in just four years all that progress will be lost.

"There is nothing inevitable about these cuts, by choosing to make them the government shows it is less concerned about young people, who are our future, than about low taxation for the wealthy."