Justine Greening has found the cash to soften her department’s new funding formula. After much to-ing and fro-ing between the Department of Education and the Treasury in recent weeks, Greening has announced a £1.3bn increase to school funding. Speaking in the Chamber, the Education Secretary said she had recognised public concern over levels of school funding during the general election.
This move will be welcomed by Tory backbenchers who feel education funding was a doorstep issue that allowed Labour to take votes from them. However, it’s notable that the austere Chancellor appears to have still won this tussle – the money will come from the existing education budget (with part coming from the free schools budget) rather than the Treasury’s mythical magic money tree.
‘The £1.3 billion additional investment in core schools funding which I am announcing today will be funded in full from efficiencies and savings I have identified from within my Department’s existing budget, rather than higher taxes or more debt.’
Although Hammond has had a difficult few days after being the subject of several briefings from his colleagues, it’s clear he still retains authority when it comes to the government purse strings.