Spending Review could have 'disastrous consequences' for education in Wales

Spending Review could have 'disastrous consequences' for education in Wales Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Those working in the education sector in Wales are bracing themselves for today's Spending Review.

As education is devolved to Wales, the money the Welsh Government get from the UK Government will affect schools, colleges and universities across the country.

Teachers' Union, UCAC, says the Spending Review could have 'disastrous consequences' for education here:

We already know that Local Authorities are asking their schools to prepare for cuts in the region of 16% over the next three years. The only way to achieve cuts on that scale is to make staff redundant – just when pupil numbers are on the increase.

Elaine Edwards, UCAC’s General Secretary

CollegesWales, who represent further education colleges, says things are already difficult, and they're expecting it to get worse:

It's not a case of crying wolf. I think we are in a very difficult financial settlement, one which is only going to get more difficult because of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Iestyn Davies, Chief Executive CollegesWales

CollegesWales are calling for 'full and fair funding' to be a priority for this Government, and the next, following the forthcoming election:

CollegesWales have now launched their manifesto for the Assembly elections, with four priorities:

  • Drive productivity by raising an employer-led supply of skills

  • Improve opportunities of 16-19 year old learners by providing a full range of options, academic and vocational, across Wales

  • Secure higher level vocational education that meets Wales’ economic needs

  • Meet the needs of learners in all their diversity.

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But the concerns aren't just in colleges and schools - those in the Welsh Government are worried too.

Although the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James AM, told ITV News that the Government want to protect education, she added that until they'd received the Spending Review it's impossible to say whether that will happen.

I'm very worried about it. This sort of austerity isn't good for us, it's not good for the people of Wales, it's not good for our economy.

Julie James AM, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology

The UK Government say they're making the changes to balance the books, and with Chancellor, George Osborne, looking to find £20bn of savings in public spending, expect a lot of talk about where cuts will be coming.