Boris Johnson pledges £4.6bn per year extra for schools (but not until 2022!)

Boris Johnson has upped his funding promise for schools, vowing to provide £4.6 billion per year extra by 2022 if he becomes prime minister.

The announcement for more schools cash comes after Johnson was ridiculed for his previous school funding promise – to raise the per-pupil funding floor in secondary schools to £5,000.

Schools Week revealed earlier this month that the pledge actually worked out at just £49 million extra.

Today Johnson, the frontrunner for the leadership, said he would reverse the real-term education cuts by adding £4.6 billion school funding per year by 2022-23.

This will also include increasing the minimum per-pupil funding for primary school pupils by £500 to £4,000. There is no date for when this would be introduced.

Johnson seems to have suggested the extra schools cash will come from leaving the EU.

He said: “The 2016 referendum result was a clear cry from many people that they have been left behind. As Conservative councillors and members all over the country know, for too many years, schools in rural regions have received much less funding than schools in other parts of the country.

“By making sure we leave the EU on 31 October, we can make sure that we level up all parts of the UK, invest in our schools and close the opportunity gap in our country.”

The £4.6 billion figures comes from an analysis by think tank Onward that it would cost £3.5 billion to return per-pupil spending to 2015 levels and another £1.1 billion to maintain it with the rise in pupils by 2022-23.

Raising the per-pupil funding floor for primaries would cost £306 million extra, costings for Johnson’s pledge claim.

Schools Week revealed earlier this month Johnson’s announcement to up the secondary per-pupil funding floor – the first headline pledge of his campaign – could actually cost as little as just £49 million extra (the equivalent to an 0.1 per cent increase in current school spending).

This figure was confirmed in the costings for today’s announcement.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said: “After sitting at the Cabinet table agreeing cuts to schools in successive Tory budgets, Boris Johnson has finally admitted that austerity has failed our children.

Rayner claimed the pledge “doesn’t come close” to reversing all the education cuts made under the Conservative government.

She added: “No budget could compensate for the damage of the disastrous no-deal Brexit he continues to threaten.”

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