School funding: The anger grows...

The education secretary says he has ‘heard the message’ on funding. But with new figures claiming real-terms cuts of £270 per-pupil, will he take action? Chris Parr reports

When education secretary Damian Hinds told the Association of School and College Leaders’ (ASCL) annual conference last month that he had “heard the message on funding loud and clear”, many in the room might have had a sense of déjà vu.

A year earlier, at the union’s 2018 gathering, Mr Hinds had told delegates that “funding is tight, I don’t deny that at all”.

It was a similar message – and in the 12 months between those two speeches, it is an issue that has gathered momentum in such a way that, as Mr Hinds entered the conference hall to make this year’s address, he was greeted outside by a chorus of “no ifs, no buts, no education cuts” from assembled protesters – most of them parents.

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