The majority of teachers will face a real-terms pay cut. I will come on to the £400 million in just a moment.
In the Chancellor’s words, all that the teachers got was a few “little extras”. The Secretary of State was said to have winced when asked about the Chancellor’s choice of words, which is not exactly the endorsement that one would expect from a Cabinet colleague. However, the Chancellor then doubled down by saying that the £400 million for “little extras” could buy
“a couple of whiteboards, or some laptop computers or something”.
It is no wonder that the Secretary of State cringed.
I am sure that the Minister will remember his colleague, Michael Gove, now the Environment Secretary, saying that the measure of this Government’s success would be how the country would perform in the PISA rankings. That is what the Government predicated their agenda on. However, the PISA rankings that followed showed that the UK had failed to make any substantial improvements. In fact, we slipped back down the rankings. That shows the Government’s failure to improve standards on their own terms.