The Treasury Committee report is very clear — school funding is at woefully low levels.

It cannot be blamed on the pandemic. The report clarifies, despite being significantly disrupted by the pandemic, other departments have received large increases.

It states: The Department for Education, which was also affected by the pandemic, did not receive such a generous settlement. School funding per head has only now returned to 2010 levels following the latest budget (Para. 54).

Since 2010 education spending has not kept up with school costs. Nationally, primary class sizes are at their highest this century.

Secondary class sizes are at their highest since records began in 1978. There are almost a million pupils being taught in classes with more than 30 pupils.

Last week the Island’s schools forum reviewed the underlying high needs budget forecast — despite efforts, a significant gap in 2022/23 — an underlying predicted budget shortfall of £1.333 million.

Consider too the learning loss during the pandemic and the key need for educational catch-up.

No real-terms growth in educational spending for well over a decade is astounding — failing to match government’s levelling-up agenda.

This is making it impossible to deliver the education and support which children, young people and parents desperately need and expect.

The pandemic has put further strains on school budgets. Government rejected the proposals of its own catch-up tsar, Sir Kevan Collins, who called for a £15 billion recovery plan.

The chancellor’s substitute offer of just £50 per pupil per year — a laughing stock of any government claim to be on the side of young people, their education and their future.

But the reality of this relentless underfunding is no laughing matter. It will and is causing unnecessary long-term harm.

We need to see restoration of funding to all schools to at least the level of 2015-16, and there must be a serious funding commitment for education catch-up to ensure every child has the education they deserve.

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