United Kingdom

Education 'faces being hardest hit' in Rishi Sunak's spending review

Rishi Sunak is on a collision course with education bosses after reports he will announce a £1billion funding boost for coronavirus catch-up programmes - far below the £5.8billion which has been asked for. 

The Chancellor will set out the results of his spending review on November 27 and sources said the Department for Education will be one of the hardest hit in Whitehall.

The Times reported that the department is likely to only receive a 'minimal' cash injection as Mr Sunak looks to rein in public spending after the pandemic. 

Rishi Sunak is on a collision course with education bosses after reports he will announce a £1billion funding boost for coronavirus catch-up programmes - far below the £5.8billion which has been asked for

The Chancellor will set out the results of his spending review on November 27 and sources said the Department for Education will be one of the hardest hit in Whitehall

Mr Sunak is expected to tighten the Government's belt in a number of policy areas after more money was made available for the NHS and social care.

The spending review will set the Government's spending plans for the next three years.  

Ministers have already pledged a total of £3.1billion for coronavirus catch-up programmes to help pupils recover from the pandemic. 

Sources told The Times that the Department for Education is likely to receive an extra £1billion to £2billion at the spending review. 

However, education chiefs have said they need an extra £5.8billion to fund a proper Covid recovery plan.

The Government's education tsar, Sir Kevan Collins, quit the role earlier this year after ministers rejected his recommendation for a £15billion education recovery package.   

Sources said the Department for Education is likely facing one of the toughest settlements of any Whitehall department. 

Two government sources told the newspaper that the Department for Education did not submit a formal bid for extra cash which prompted 'incredulity' in the Treasury.  

A department source insisted a bid was submitted. 

Nadhim Zahawi replaced Gavin Williamson as Education Secretary at the Cabinet reshuffle earlier this month

The deadline for submissions was two weeks ago, two days before the Cabinet reshuffle which saw Nadhim Zahawi replace Gavin Williamson as Education Secretary.       

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, urged the Government to listen to the call for an additional £5.8billion in catch up funding. 

He said: 'Choosing not to invest in the future of young people at this critical point will only lead to greater problems in the future.'

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