School spending per pupil “lower than 2010” as disadvantaged areas are hardest hit


According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), England’s schools were £ 6,500 per student in 2019-20, 9% less in real terms than the high of £ 7,200 in 2009-10.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson visits a school

School spending for every student in England will remain lower than before the Tories came to power, despite a government funding boost, a damning analysis suggests.

The Fiscal Studies Institute warned that schools in deprived areas are facing the greatest challenges as they have seen major cuts in real conditions over the past decade.

The results raise serious questions about Boris Johnson’s agenda to “level” poorer parts of the country after the pandemic.

As a result, schools in deprived areas will find it much more difficult to catch up on lost learning after the Corona crisis.

It comes as Labor releases new data showing the UK has had longer school closings than any other European country except Italy.

Since January 2020, just before the Covid outbreak, British children have been absent from their classrooms almost half (44%) of the days. The numbers apply to all four nations of the United Kingdom.

In contrast, Irish schools were closed 29% of the time, Spanish schools were closed 19% of the days and French students only missed 12% of their classes.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced Thursday an expansion of catch-up classes to support up to six million students over the next three years.

Academic mentors will be deployed in select schools across the country to work in small groups of over 250,000 students who are in need of the most support this year.

However, the IFS found that total school spending per student in England was just over £ 6,500 in 2019-20, which is 9% lower in real terms than the high of £ 7,200 in 2009-10.

Although the government is allocating over £ 7 billion in addition to schools, the basic funding per student will still be 1-2% lower in real terms between 2022 and 2023 than it was before it came to power.

Luke Sibieta, research fellow at IFS, said the Tory cuts in the past decade were the largest in more than 40 years.

In the era of austerity politician David Cameron, funds were cut in real terms


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He said, “The fact that it will still not have recovered to 2009 levels by 2022 shows just how much pressure has been.

“This will make it all the more difficult for schools to cope with the huge challenge of helping students catch up on lost learning, along with everything else they have to do.

“Schools that serve disadvantaged communities face the greatest challenges.

“They took the biggest cuts through 2019 and now they get the smallest increases.

“This pattern contradicts the government’s goal of leveling the poorer parts of the country.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT School Directors Union, said: “This report clearly shows the real slump in funding schools have been grappling with for over a decade.

“Despite the government’s bold demands for school funding, it is very clear that school spending per student will be lower in real terms next year than it was a decade ago.

“This is at a time when the demands on schools have increased.

“It cannot be overlooked that schools have had cuts in supply and will have to make cuts until this is properly addressed.

“In addition, the schools with the most disadvantaged students suffer the greatest losses.

“In light of all this, the talk of ‘leveling’ sounds very hollow indeed.”

An Education Department spokesman said: “This government is providing the largest increase in school funding in a decade – totaling £ 14 billion in the three years to 2022-23.

“This is a £ 7.1 billion increase in funding for schools compared to 2019-20 funding levels.”


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