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Speaking ahead of the Budget, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said

"Regrettably, the leaks coming from the Coalition government do not suggest we are going to get a Budget that will be good for children and improving educational achievement.

"We want a Budget that reverses any rise in child poverty by tackling low pay and supporting families on benefits. One that reverses cuts in public services, such as to sure start centres, and reverses real-terms cuts in school budgets so that schools can make effective interventions to help pupils at risk of failure.

"We want a Budget that reinstates financial support so that youngsters can afford to stay in education and training over the age of 16, and removes the penalties on unemployed young people who want to train.

"Most of all, we want the Chancellor to produce a Budget that rejects the idea that the country is bust and cannot afford spending money on key public services. The government needs to recognise that the only way to close the education achievement gap is to close the wealth gap in our society and start to reverse the long-term decline in wages as a proportion of national wealth. If the 1,000 richest people in the UK gave up part of their wealth the government could wipe out the entire budget deficit.

"We look forward to tomorrow's Budget, but we are not holding our breath."

Written by Scott Buckler
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 9:09

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