To the delight of parents and teachers, the Chancellor has promised to splash the cash on school essentials; such as 1 bottle of glue per 1,000 children, 1 compass per 10,000 children and 1 GCSE pass per 100,000 children. With a one-off payment of £400m, he can make every child’s dream come true, of owning not one but two highlighter pens.
These ‘little extras’ as Mr Hammond describes them do not cover luxury goods like ceilings, electricity or a class size of less than 30. Unfortunately schools will still need to raise funds by the usual means, like cake sales or organ harvesting.
Critics say that, with staff shortages, £10,000 per school will only buy you half a newly qualified teacher or ten unqualified P.E. teachers. It is also worth noting that the average school budget for exams is over £50,000 – which equates to £25,000 per grade A.
Some parents are aggrieved that the £600 per pupil is less than the money allocated to tackling the UK’s potholes, but a spokeswoman for Mr Hammond explained: ‘One is maintaining a bottomless hole, where we keep throwing good money after bad – while the other is funding pot holes’.