New evidence has lifted the lid on Tory plans to slash the education budget.
Briefing notes photographed at a press conference show that the Tories have refused to rule out taking an axe to the education budget after the general election. The documents revealed that, in the run up to the 7 May election, Conservative front-benchers have been told to dodge questions about whether the education budget would be cut.
It comes as Liberal Democrat analysis shows that the Conservatives would need to slash the education budget by 25% by 2020 if they are going to achieve their plans for public spending.
Unlike the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives have not committed to protect funding for nurseries, schools and colleges in the next Parliament. Such drastic cuts would have a profound impact on schools and children's life chances.
For example, cuts on this scale could mean:
- a rise in the average class size from 30
- scrapping 36,000 teaching assistant jobs
- 920,000 children losing one-to-one tuition to help them catch-up if they are struggling
- some £640 million cut from the Pupil Premium, additional funding targeted at disadvantaged students to improve their school results
- approximately £13 million cut from the Early Years Pupil Premium - the equivalent of 42,000 disadvantaged 3 to 4 year olds losing their additional funding.