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Spending review a missed opportunity

25 November 2020 | last updated: 2 December 2020

Commenting on the chancellor's spending review announcement UCU described it as a missed opportunity and called for more support for education staff, who have worked tirelessly during the current pandemic.

The union said that further education had been hit particularly hard by cuts to budgets and lost staff, losing over 24,000 teaching staff over the last ten years. Any post Covid-19 recovery will rely on further education providing the skills many will need and without proper investment in staff the sector will not be able to provide the support required.

UCU general secretary, Jo Grady, said: 'Today's statement recognises the importance of education and skills as vital in our recovery as we move forward from the current health crisis but the problems in the education sector are of this government's own making after years of underfunding and ever rising workloads.

'This spending review was a missed opportunity to invest in rebuilding the further education sector to meet the country's skills needs after years of funding cuts, jobs losses and pay cuts. We now need investment in the education workforce to ensure the sector can recruit and retain the staff it needs to deliver on the government's skills ambitions.

'The government is wasting the opportunity to invest and rebuild from the current health crisis. Instead of talking about pay restraint, which will further damage the morale of the very people that have picked up the pieces of this government's failings during the pandemic. We need investment to ensure that we have the skills to get the country moving again.

'The pandemic has taught us that it's public services and key workers that are the people who hold our country together - they shouldn't pay for this government's mistakes.'

 

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