The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has just completed his first budget statement to the house. This will be the last spring budget with the set piece statement moving to the autumn in the future. The budget was focussed on a domestic agenda with a view to ‘creating a stable platform for Brexit’.
We have compiled a quick summary for parents on how the announcements impact education.
- £1bn to the Department for Education from the Sugar Tax to fund school sport and healthy lifestyles - despite a reduction of income from the soft drinks levy (due to companies already responding and reducing sugar content in drinks), this earlier commitment will be met
- A promise of tax free childcare worth £2,000 per child under 12 and the commencement of 30 hours of free childcare for children aged three and four
- 89% of schools are now rated good and outstanding by Ofsted
- The chancellor stated: “Choice is the key to excellence in education.” A new Schools White Paper is expected shortly which will include proposals to sponsor 110 new free schools made up of a variety of schools such as specialist maths schools, as well as selective schools. See our free schools guide for more
- The government will also fund travel for children on free school meals who attend a selective school, to ensure cost of transport is not a barrier
- £216m is to be invested in existing school buildings [a recent NAO report estimated the need to invest £6bn]
- There will be an introduction of T-Levels to develop a strong technical [vocational] qualification recognised by employers, which will include 50% more training hours and a guaranteed three-month work placement for all 16-19 year olds.