Wales

Boris Johnson promises Wales a multi-million pound boost

Teachers in front of a class of children Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Welsh Government has been urged to spend the UK Government cash on schools

Wales has been promised at least £355m a year for the next three years by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Schools in England have been promised more than £7bn by 2022-23, so Wales will get a knock-on from this.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said Wales will get £1.2bn "additional funding" in total, but this is not usually how spending increases are reported.

It is unclear how the money will be spent, but the Welsh Government was urged to spend it on schools.

But the Welsh Government said it would wait for the "full details", with a spokesman adding: "We will not comment on individual spending announcements until the full details are published next week."

Mr Cairns, MP for Vale of Glamorgan, said what he insisted was "additional funding" should be spent on Wales' education system.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns was one of few survivors from Boris Johnson's first cabinet reshuffle

"This is a £1.2bn of additional money coming to Wales over three years," he said.

"This is the biggest increase in education spend in a generation. The pressure will be on Welsh Government to pass it on to teachers and school pupils.

"That's what happening in England and we would like to do the same in Wales because some progress has been made in Wales but we have a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the world."

Mr Cairns said he wanted children in Wales to have the "best opportunities" ready for when UK leaves the European Union.

"It's about giving children and teachers the skills so we're ready for those challenges ahead," he said.

Mr Johnson's pledge follows a campaign by school leaders warning of worsening budget shortages.

Even though the prime minister's pledge is for schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will get a percentage due to the Barnett Formula.

Analysis - Tomos Livingstone, BBC Wales political unit

The pledge to increase funding on schools in England - and consequently boost the Welsh Government's coffers - will of course be seen as further proof that No 10 is planning for an early general election.

But there's a political battle ranging in Wales between the Welsh and the UK governments over funding of public services such as schools and hospitals.

Although the Welsh Government can now raise some of its spending money through tax, the majority of the cash still comes from London.

The Welsh Government has long argued it doesn't get enough funding from the UK Treasury - tonight's announcement will see UK ministers saying, in effect: "Here's some extra cash, get on and spend it on raising standards in Welsh schools."

Needless to say the Welsh Government (which could, if it chooses, spend the money on other things anyway) doesn't quite see it that way. It wants to see more details of the funding and will point out that an increase in funding now doesn't come close to making up for a decade of cuts.

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