Labour's Cat McKinnell unable to say when schools would get promised extra 6,500 teachers

Labour's Cat McKinnell unable to say when schools would get promised extra 6,500 teachers
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 10/06/2024

- 11:25

Labour Shadow Schools Minister Cat McKinnell has been unable to say when schools could expect to see the 6,500 extra teachers that the party has promised to fund if it wins the election.

In an interview with GB News, she was asked if schools would get them in a single year or over the course of the next Parliament.

McKinnell replied: “Obviously, the revenue will be raised on an annual basis, but we want to see 6,000 more teachers generally in our state school system.

“We've seen that the Government are missing their recruitment targets year on year for teachers filling the places that they need to within our state system.

“We need to see an injection of activity to ensure that we have the teaching workforce we need.”

She continued: “The other side of this is we need to make sure that schools are places where teachers want to work, that they're an attractive place to be, that children want to be as well.

“And so making sure that we have sufficient workforce will also stop so many teachers leaving. We see a large problem with retention as much as recruitment. We want to see that across the board.”

She also accused private schools of scare-mongering over the party’s plan to levy VAT on school fees.

She said: “These have been very carefully costed. In terms of the VAT on private schools, I know that there's been a lot of scare-mongering amongst the private schools about the impact that might occur as a result of some of these tax changes.

“But in reality, we've seen private school fees go up and up and up above inflation for many years and we have not seen any reduction in the number of children attending so there is no evidence so it would have the impact that’s been suggested.”

She added: “In terms of VAT, [they should] cut that cloth accordingly, which is what many state schools have had to do for many years.

“The gap in funding for a child attending state school as opposed to a child attending a private school has grown significantly because of these above inflation rises that we've seen for parents and obviously they’re decisions that private schools will have to make.”


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