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Teaching unions criticise government over failing to address costs of bringing back schools safely after lockdown

TEACHERS have criticised the government for failing to address the full financial cost of bringing schools back safely after lockdown.

State schools in England are set to receive an increase in central government funding of at least 2 per cent next year, PM Boris Johnson will announce today.

Under the settlement, secondary schools will receive a minimum of £5,150 per pupil — up from £5,000 this year — while primary schools will get at least £4,000 per pupil, up from £3,750.

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of the NAHT school leaders’ union, welcomed the additional funding, but warned that it was “unlikely to reflect the scale of the challenge faced.”

“Schools serving the most deprived communities may find that additional funding may not go far enough to address the true cost of this crisis,” he said.

The Association of School and College Leaders said it was disappointed that the settlement does not address the full cost of bringing back schools safely, which it noted involves extensive cleaning schedules, extra anti-bacterial supplies and cover for self-isolating teachers.

Labour said the increases would still leave schools worse off than they were before Tory austerity.

“The fact is schools will still be worse off in 2023 than they were in 2010 under these plans, as a direct result of the Conservatives’ decision to cut school budgets,” shadow education secretary Kate Green said.

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