New analysis shows £5.4 billion cut from school budgets in England since 2015

By agency reporter
March 28, 2019

Analysis  of the latest Government school funding figures by the School Cuts coalition shows a shortfall in funding of £5.4 billion over the past three years with 91 per cent of schools in England affected.

This is the most comprehensive examination of school funding figures, bringing together:

  • Schools Block allocations (which for 2018/19 also includes the new Teacher Pay Grant)
  • the Pupil Premium
  • sixth form funding

This new analysis updates the figures by using recently released figures for actual school funding, rather than the Government’s past estimates. In addition, it uses the Government’s figures for school costs – published for the first time – which are rising faster than inflation. This shows the cuts are actually worse than previously predicted.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Schools across the country have had to make severe cuts and there are more on the way as reserves are drained and deficits increase. The reality of budget cuts is that schools have to operate with reduced staffing and this impacts on educational provision, such as less additional support for children and fewer curriculum choices. Schools are in the invidious position of having to decide on the least-worst option of where to make cuts or they will become insolvent.”

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of te school leaders’ union, NAHT, said: “School budgets are at absolute breaking point. School leaders have made all the obvious savings. Now, class sizes are rising and the range of subjects schools can offer is shrinking as they desperately try to balance the books. Everyone agrees that the school funding crisis can only be solved by new money from the Treasury.”

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “This is an intolerable situation. Children and young people are being short-changed by a Government that believes education can be run on a shoestring. This situation cannot go on. There needs to be a reversal of cuts to school budgets since 2010, and for the funding of schools and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provision to be of a level that ensures all children and young people get the education they deserve.”

UNISON head of education, Jon Richards, said: “Enough is enough. Coffers are empty, as are bookshelves and staff rooms in many schools. With heightened concern over the mental health of young people, savage cuts mean fewer support staff to provide vital personal help. Schools everywhere are struggling. Ministers must act now or a generation of children will be disastrously let down.”

Unite national officer, Jim Kennedy, said:“The Government needs to stop burying its head in the sand, drop the spin and wake up to the crisis in school funding. School cuts are resulting in reduced opportunities for young people in and out of the classroom and leaving staff struggling to deliver the best education they can. Ministers need to act fast to end the school funding crisis for the sake of the generations to come.”

* School Cuts https://schoolcuts.org.uk/

* National Education Union https://neu.org.uk/

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