Gavin Williamson answers your questions on funding

Hello. My name’s Gavin Williamson. I’m the Secretary of State for Education. This is my first Facebook Live and the department’s
first Facebook Live as well. We’d asked a lot of you to contribute questions. I will do my very best to answer as many as we can. Just last week, with the Prime Minister, I
was very privileged to be able to announce that we are investing an extra £18.9 billion
into our education system over a three-year period. £4.5 billion of that is to make sure that
we cover the cost of extra pensions. But the rest of it is all aimed at delivering
better education for all children in this country. So, if I dive into the questions… The first one is from Jamie, who asks the
question of, how will you ensure that teacher pay is fully supported to match the recommendations
by the Independent Pay Review Body? Most schools spend about 50% of their budget
directly on teacher pay. That’s why it was so important, from my
point of view, to ensure that we’re able to secure the maximum amount of money for all
schools so that they were able to deliver a pay award for teachers. All evidence points to the simple fact that
the biggest impact that we can have on children’s education is the teacher in that classroom. So, getting the very best teachers, encouraging
people to stay within the teaching profession, and inspire a new generation of the most brilliant
to come and work in the classroom is so very important. I’ll be writing to the Independent Pay Review
Body to explain to them about our aims and aspirations for teachers’ pay, and also
explaining the fact that there is money to support those increased levels of pay, bringing
the starting salary of newly qualified teachers up to £30,000, which I think sends an important
message about how we value the teaching profession. The next question we have is from Sally, and
the question is to whether the £700 million funding for special educational needs will
be ringfenced. The £700 million is being given to schools,
to Local Authorities, to directly help those children who need it most. I expect every Local Authority to pass forth
that money straight through to schools. It’s vitally important that they do this. These are some of the children with the highest
needs. It’s something that, when I’ve been visiting
schools, when I’ve been speaking to teaching unions, that they’ve been highlighting as
an absolute priority for them. And I very much hope this £700 million will
have an enormous impact on children’s lives, but I do expect it to go through to all schools. David raises the issue, saying that whilst
the news that there will be a significant funding increase is fantastic, the first instalment
is still a year away. Will there be further funding this academic
year? This spending review was all designed for
the years 2020-2021. We were the only department across government
that was able to get a multi-year settlement covering three years. And this will be made available from April
next year and cover the full three-year period. Joe raises as to where the extra money is
coming from. Quite simply, the extra money is coming from
The Treasury. The Chancellor agreed this extra funding,
it’s not being taken from our budget. It’s coming directly from Her Majesty’s
Treasury and will have an immediate impact. Jane raises the issue of, how will the additional
funding be distributed to schools? Will all schools receive additional funding? Every single school in this country will be
receiving an increase in the money it gets in line with inflation. Those schools that have historically been
funded at a lower level will be seeing the amount of money the receive per pupil lifted
up. So, the next financial year will ensure that
every secondary school will get a minimum of £5,000 a year per-pupil funding, and every
primary school will be getting a minimum of £3,750 per-pupil funding, and that will be
increasing to £4,000 per pupil the following year. Helen raises the issue of, we rely on teachers
from the European Union and teacher recruitment/retention is at breaking point. How do you plan to mitigate for Brexit? In so many schools right across the country
we see teachers from many different nations, right across the European Union, who play
an important role in delivering education for children in this country. And the government has continuously made it
clear that they are.. their rights are going to be protected. We want them to stay in this country and we
are going to be ensuring that it is absolutely easy and simple for them to stay on in this
country and continue to contribute to our schools as they have been doing. The issue of teacher retention and recruitment
is incredibly important, and we’ve been working with the trade unions, and right across the
sector, to make sure that we have the proper and right recruitment and retention strategy
to ensure that teachers, both in primary and secondary education have the incentive to
stay on in this profession. But we do want those from other European countries
that have made Britain their home to feel as if they want to continue to work in our
schools. Kathy raises the issue of, are we going to
announce any funding for the early years sector? The simple answer to that is yes. We announced next year £66 million for the
early years sector. That was announced in the spending review
just yesterday. And finally, Daniel asks the question, will
this funding be applied at the beginning of the new financial years? Funding mid-year makes forecasting difficult. A lot of this depends on the type of school
that you’re working in, Daniel. If it is an academy, academies will receive
the extra funding from September of next year. If it’s a Local Authority funded school, it
will be from April of next year. What is critical is that this funding is over
a three-year period. This gives the opportunity for head teachers
to be able to plan and to properly be able to forecast as to what they want to be doing
in their schools. And that’s why it’s been so critical to
be able to secure it over that three-year period. Finally, I’d just like to thank you for taking
the time to watch, taking the time to listen, but most importantly, taking the time to contribute
your questions. Thank you.

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