A UNION representative for teachers in Cumbria has revealed they are currently dealing with redundancies despite an announcement of more funding for schools.

School funding in England will be increased by £2.2bn next year, the chancellor confirmed last week during the Spending Review in the House of Commons.

Rishi Sunak also said money would be provided to rebuild 500 schools over the next decade, along with £1.5 billion to rebuild colleges.

"We will have to wait to see the detail," said Chris Brooksbank, Cumbria's NEU secretary.

"With increasing demands and cuts in funding over the last few years we can only hope that any new money that does eventually reach schools helps to start to restore the damage done. "We are now dealing with redundancies in schools across the county this wouldn't be happening if funding was increasing." Mr Sunak also revealed a pay freeze on teacher's wages while confirming NHS workers would be excluded from a wider public sector pay freeze that he was implementing for 2021-22.

"While everyone understands the need for balancing the books, our main concern will be around doing it fairly," said Mr Brooksbank.

"We know that many people have suffered terribly over the last eight months, and that many, but not all, working in the public sector have had some protection - as have many, not all, in the private sector.

"We do have some sympathy for singling out nurses and doctors, but also recognise that carers have contributed massively - should they not be included.

"Indeed have school staff across the country have worked tirelessly since the first lockdown, many without a break. They have provided meals, supported track and trace for children and young people and opened a safe place for the most vulnerable and the children of essential workers since March, and back for all since September.

"Schools have had to operate without the funding to reduce bubble sizes, inadequate testing, limited additional cleaning and a near constant barrage or ludicrous directives from the Department for Education. This period has proved that children and young people are not immune but staff have kept schools open. We should be thanking them, not just with words.

"If this was to be fair then we must ask why some other groups like MPs and the civil service will still be given pay rises. It does look as though the government is targeting schools and council employees. It is worth remembering that schools and teachers already had years of cuts - more than 10 per cent cut in teacher pay over the last ten years, and years of a pay freeze through austerity."