Education leaders in England fear one thing: that schools, colleges and universities will be hammered by the cost of living crisis but will not be enough of a priority to get the help they need from government. And they see little hope from a change in leadership at No 10.

“Our costs are going through the roof, our staff badly need pay rises and are going to strike, our students are suffering, but our income is stuck,” said one vice-chancellor, echoing their peers in schools and colleges around the country.

While inflation and the cost of living dominate the headlines, and headteachers are having to revise their budgets to account for rising expenses, few expect that a new prime minister will focus on tackling any of the structural problems the sector faces, after education policy barely featured in any of the Conservative party’s leadership debates.

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