The Government’s approach to school spending will see an increase in grammar schools and widening gaps in quality of schooling. The Liberal Democrats have called for any extra money for education to be spent on reversing the devastating £3bn of cuts to school budgets that will see an 8% cut in per pupil funding by 2020. John Pugh MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“The Free Schools Programme has been shown to have overspent to the tune of billions of pounds, at the same time as existing schools struggle to pay for books, cut teachers and their buildings decay around them. Hammond’s plans for free school transport only to those children in selective schools will give exclusive treatment to a select few, while denying the same support to children from disadvantaged backgrounds who attend comprehensive schools.
“This is the Conservative Party pushing its divisive agenda on our children. The Liberal Democrats believe we need an education system which delivers opportunities for all young people. The Tories absolutely have their priorities wrong on education, if they think this is the right way to spend money. Investing in free schools and grammars is only going to make the divides between local areas, and between richer and poorer children, worse.”