Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget grabbed headlines on childcare.
However in what he termed a ‘Budget for growth’, the Chancellor also announced several measures directly affecting UK tech.
From a Plan for Quantum to investment zones and tax initiatives, he claims to be removing the barriers that stop businesses investing and intends to turn the UK into a ‘science and technology superpower’.
But what did the tech sector and wider business support landscape make of the government’s fiscal plans?
The allowance for 30 hours of free childcare a week will be extended to all children from the age of nine months, beginning in April 2024.
Jonathan Moore, education consultant at SMART Technologies, welcomed increased investment for services supporting children and parents but called for more action on education. “In addition to the cost of living and energy bill support, it’s positive to see a reformed childcare scheme that better supports working parents and further investment in upskilling young people with special needs and disabilities,” he said.
“These investments will be vital in strengthening support for children, protecting student wellbeing and enhancing the UK’s education system. However, the sector remains in crisis and there is still little detail as to how the £2.3bn investment for this year will be spent, or how the government is reacting to teachers' concerns. Teacher strikes are continuing throughout the UK, and the government has not addressed these concerns in today’s Budget.
“Teachers are calling out for greater support – and not just in the form of salary rises, but also when it comes to resources, support staff, and tools. We know teacher burnout is at an all-time high, particularly in the SEN sector where teachers are truly at breaking point. Staff are calling out for their demands to be urgently addressed so they can provide excellent learning experiences for students, whilst also having the necessary tools and wellbeing support at hand.
“Education defines all our futures. Ultimately, failing to address the above will have huge impacts on students, teachers and broader school communities – and will only hinder the UK’s growth.”Keep reading about UK’s recent budget announcement on Business Cloud.