UK school spending ‘not on track’ to return to 2010 levels
Rising costs mean the government is “no longer on track” to restore Britain’s per-pupil spending to its 2010 levels by the end of this parliament, a leading think tank warns. newspaper on Tuesday.
A study by Institute for Fiscal Studies It is estimated that by 2024-25, spending per student in the UK will be 3% lower than in 2010.
This is because funding growth from next year will fall below school cost growth, reducing the purchasing power of school budgets.
The IFS report shows that inflation-adjusted per-pupil school spending fell 9% between 2009-10 and 2019-20. In last year’s spending review, the government allocated more funding to schools, saying it would restore spending per pupil to real levels in 2010 by the end of the current parliament in 2016. 2024-25.
However, for now, spending plans for the future years do not seem to be enough to meet the cost pressures facing schools. As a result, “the government is no longer on track to accomplish this goal,” the report said.
Many factors are driving up the costs that schools face, including rising salaries for teachers and support staff as well as food and energy prices.
Starting salaries for teachers outside London from September will rise 9% to £28,000, marking a step towards the government’s pledge of £30,000 starting salaries by 2022-23. Most teachers, who are at or near their final salary, will simultaneously receive a 5% raise.
However, with consumer prices rising at The highest level in 40 years is 9.4% and after the pay freeze, inflation-adjusted wages for most teachers will be about 12% lower in real terms this year than they were in 2010.
Food and energy services will also weigh heavily on school budgets, according to the report, as they account for about a quarter of a school’s out-of-staff costs and experience particularly rapid price increases.
Luke Sibieta, IFS research fellow and the report’s author, said the big financing option for policymakers this fall is “whether or not to provide additional funding for public services to compensate offset the increased costs and significant challenges they face.”
The report warns that the cost increase will not be felt equally, with facilities that rely more on support staff, such as special schools, potentially increasing costs more quickly.
Budget pressures are mounting after a period where, because of the coronavirus pandemic, students have missed out on schooling.
The schools white paper released in March set a target of 90% of elementary school students meeting the expected standards in reading, writing and math by 2030. But the results of this year’s Sats testswas studied by 11-year-olds at the end of elementary school, suggesting that pandemic-related disruptions have negatively impacted levels of achievement.
Ruth Maisey, head of education at the Nuffield Foundation, a charity, said it was “necessary” for the government to address the cost pressures highlighted by the IFS analysis “to ensure that schools can fulfill their students’ ambitions to achieve”.
“We recognize that schools – like the broader economy – are facing increased costs due to the recent unprecedented increase in inflation.
“To support schools, the budget will increase by £7 billion by 2024-25, compared with 2021-22, with the total primary school budget increasing to £56.8 billion,” it added.