Ed Miliband pledges to protect ‘overall’ education budget, including 16 to 19 funding

A Labour government will ringfence the entire education budget including for early years and 16 to 19-year-olds, Ed Miliband has announced.

Mr Miliband broke his party’s silence on the issue of a ringfence during a speech at his old school, Haverstock, in Camden this morning.

His comments come after the Conservatives announced they would protect current levels of funding, but only for the education of five to 16-year-olds, if they remain in power after May 7. The Liberal Democrats have already pledged to protect funding “from cradle to college”.

In his speech, Mr Miliband said: “I can announce that the next Labour government will ensure that spending on our schools rises by as at least as much as inflation.

“In other words, it will be protected in real terms, and we will go further.

“Because all of us know that the success of our children depends so much on the first steps children take in the early years and the further education they go on to.

“David Cameron, when he gave his speech, had nothing to say about any of these areas. I can only assume he is planning big cuts in spending. This will short-change our children’s future.

“If we are to act on the principle that education is the passport to success in life for individuals and our nation’s economy, we must be willing to invest in the early years, in schools and in further education.

“The next Labour government will protect the overall education budget. Rising budgets, protected in real terms every year.”

For more, see this week’s Schools Week (edition 19, published Friday, February 12).

Picture: Hannah McKay/PA Wire/Press Association Images

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