One of the key points in the Conservative manifesto is behaviour and discipline, allowing headteachers greater freedom to expel pupils and students as well as tackling bullying and homophobic behaviour, although no details have been given as to how.
There is also talk about creating more good schools, with further comment about supporting innovation, which suggests that they will encourage more free schools to be opened – something that is mentioned separately – and an ever decreasing emphasis on the national curriculum.
There are no targets set in terms of such changes and no clear details on how the growing school population will be accommodated beyond the free school programme.
But there is a mention of an “arts premium” for secondary schools at a cost of £110m a year for three years starting in 2021.
Primary schools have a promise of an investment in PE teaching, promoting physical literacy and competitive sport. But there doesn’t seem to be a focus on increasing the fitness of the whole of the school population which is what we have had before.
250,000 more primary school children will get onsite childcare over the summer holidays. Those schools that can’t offer childcare on site will get access to a fund to help them build the facilities they need.
There is a fund of £14bn for school building generally – although it seems this is the same fund that was already announced, not a new fund. It runs across two years.
In terms of year on year funding of each pupil, this has been mentioned before, and it is confirmed that in the event of a Conservative victory this will go up to at least £5,000 a year in secondaries from 2020 and £4,000 a year in primaries from 2021.
This is, of course, the money that will pay to keep the schools running, and will undoubtedly mean a lot more money is available for schools to spend.
Some of that will go at once on teachers as the starting salary will go up to £30,000 plus any urban weighting allowance, although this won’t come in until later – the final date promised is 2022.
However there was nothing clear on recruiting more teachers – perhaps because the most recent rounds of attempts at recruitment have been so disastrous. The number of teachers in schools has risen, but nothing like enough to keep in touch with the number of pupils and students now in the system, and it could well be that schools will have a fair amount of extra money but, as now, limited chance of spending it on salaries.
Which in turn ought to mean a large move towards buying the equipment and services, plus engaging in repairs and improvements that have been put off during the years of austerity.
Given that Labour is also promising serious spending on schools, this might well be the right time to start advertising to schools.
If you want to get in quickly and promote to schools we can most certainly help, and help quickly. Please do call 01604 880 927 or email Stephen@schools.co.uk