By Claire West
Commenting on the reports that the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is to announce a package of £7 billion to support educational provision, including a pupil premium, for the poorest children, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:
"If the Deputy Prime Minister was really concerned about fairness and supporting the most disadvantaged he would not have put his party's name to the package of savage cuts to educational provision the Coalition Government has made since 12 May.
"Cutting the roll out of universal free school meals, abolishing one-to-one tuition, pulling the plug on funding for breakfast clubs and other extended services , aborting the school building programme and siphoning off money to allow the pushy and the privileged to set up schools will hit the poorest and most disadvantaged children hardest.
"£7 billion over three years to cover pre-school provision, a pupil premium and support for university tuition will sink without trace in the gaping hole in the education budget left by the deep cuts predicted in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
"This announcement is nothing to do with fairness. It is nothing to do with tackling disadvantage. It is nothing to do with raising educational standards. It's a sop to Liberal Democrat backbenchers who at long last may be showing signs of rebelling as one totemic Liberal Democrat education policy after another is sacrificed to Tory ideology."