The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, today called on the British Government to continue to honour its commitments to overseas development spending, particularly with regards to education.

Speaking at an NASUWT fringe meeting at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, NASUWT Deputy General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said in the post-Brexit environment spending to deliver quality education was critically important.

And he said he wanted Labour to continue to keep to its commitments to investing in international aid, especially in the areas of education development spending.

Also speaking at the fringe meeting was Stephen Twigg, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby and chair of the International Development Select Committee, and David Archer, of Action Aid International, who is also a co-founder and board member of the Global Campaign for Education. Chairing the meeting was Lucy Lamble, global development editor at the Guardian.

Dr Roach said: “From the NASUWT’s perspective we feel that Labour needs to make clear there are no attempts to move away from commitments to invest in international aid.

“This would send out the wrong signal and further send out the message that Britain is turning its back on the world.

“Cutting support for the world’s poorest, in terms of education, is not what the British people have asked for.

“The British people need to see that the agenda overseas is relevant for them. The message post Brexit is that development matters, not just in terms of how we create a world that is better for everyone, but how we create a Britain that is relevant for everyone and schools that work for everyone wherever they are educated, anywhere around the world.”

Stephen Twigg said:

“Labour has a proud record in this area, but we have to acknowledge there is scepticism among the public about aid. It is really important that those of us who believe in this are ensuring that there is value for money in the way that we spend development funds.

“The SDGs are ambitious and they are universal, they are not only about the poorest countries but they are about our own domestic challenges.

“It is right now that we are more ambitious, that we have a bigger emphasis on quality and we address secondary and tertiary education as well as primary education.”

David Archer said: “It is absolutely crucial to think how you rebuild education in conflict areas.

“Unless we start to build accountability in how we build education in post-conflict areas, you will see systems that are more fragile and vulnerable.

“We cannot also achieve sustainable progress on education if we don’t look at the tax regimes in many countries around the world.”

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