Balls vows to protect school funding

By staff

Ed Balls has vowed to provide extra funding for school pupils for the next three years, despite the need to cut the deficit.

Speaking ahead of his speech at the NASUWT teachers’ conference, the schools secretary said the general election would see tough choices about school funding.

“It is going to be a tougher period for schools, but I’m clear I want to keep the number of teachers and teaching assistants we’ve got, to keep class sizes down,” he told the BBC.

“I’m guaranteeing for the next three years – and I’ve agreed this with the chancellor of the exchequer – that funding per-pupil will keep rising for every school – in fact, it will rise on average by more than 2%, that’s more than cost pressures.”

Mr Balls contrasted the approach with that from Michael Gove, shadow schools secretary, whose plan for free schools set-up by parent and community groups, has proved popular among many voters.

School funding will suffer under the Tories as they try to satisfy their other choices, such as scrapping the national insurance tax rise, Mr Balls argued.