A report from the Education Select Committee has shown that education funding has not been sufficient to cope with the rising demands that schools are facing. The report calls for a strategic ten-year education funding plan and particularly focuses on the shortfall FE providers are facing, calling for the base rate to be raised in line with inflation and for pupil premium to be extended to 16-19 pupils.
Despite Government assurances that ‘more money than ever is going into education’, the report now acknowledges that schools are suffering from real term cuts.
The IFS 2018 annual report on education spending in England showed that over the last 10 years, funding per pupil has fallen by 8% (in inflation-adjusted terms). This is a total of a £4.2 billion real-term decrease in funding since 2009/10. Schools North East analysis shows this to be the equivalent of £500 less per pupil since 2009.
The funding crisis has made a number of headlines throughout the years as schools have been making staff redundancies, and even closing early or going down to four day weeks. As well as dealing with a rising number of students, schools are faced with providing additional services, including dealing with student mental health, more complex SEND provision and a growing number of pupils facing significant disadvantage and even poverty.
Commenting on the report, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“This report is a damning indictment of the government’s dreadful record on school and college funding… It is spot-on about the need for a long-term education funding plan which is based upon what schools and colleges actually need. It is a fundamental weakness of the current funding system that there is a complete disconnect between what is asked of the education system and how much money is provided by the government to meet those expectations. ”
Earlier this year ASCL’s report The True Cost of Education, calculated that school funding must be increased by £5.7 billion to give every child the education that society expects and children deserve.
Read the full Education Select Committee Report