Spending per school pupil in England 'less than in 2009-10 in real terms'

According to an analysis, core school spending per student in England will remain lower in real terms than it was in 2009-2010 despite the increase in government funding.

Schools that serve disadvantaged communities face “greatest challenges” as they have seen major cuts in spending per student over the past decade, researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned.

The report said it “runs counter to the government’s goal of leveling poorer areas across the country” and it will be “much more difficult” for schools in deprived areas to catch up on lost learning after the pandemic.

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

The government has allocated an additional £ 7.1 billion to schools in England through 2022-23, which will increase spending per student by over 8%, but school spending per student will still be 1-2% lower in real terms in 2022-23 than 2009/10 despite the budget allocation, she suggests.

The study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, examines trends in core daily school spending in England and excludes additional spending during the pandemic, such as the £ 3 billion allocated to catching up.

It calculates that school expenditures per pupil in 2022–23 will also be 1% lower in 2009–10 after taking headline inflation into account, or by 2% after taking into account the increase in specific costs for schools.

Luke Sibieta, IFS Research Fellow, said: “The decline in school spending per student in England in the decade between 2009 and 2019 is the largest decline in more than 40 years and likely much longer.”

The report suggests that spending per student in the most deprived secondary schools decreased by 14% in real terms between 2009-10 and 2019-20, compared with a 9% decrease in the least deprived schools.

She adds that funding for the least disadvantaged schools will increase by 8–9% in real terms between 2017-18 and 2022-23, compared with 5% for the most disadvantaged schools.

Josh Hillman, Director of Education for the Nuffield Foundation, said, “This IFS research shows that the largest reductions in spending per student have been in schools in deprived areas.”

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said, “This research clearly shows that the additional £ 7.1 billion the government is investing in schools is not enough to reverse the cuts made in the previous decade to make that their approach does not adequately support schools in deprived areas. “

In June, the Ministry of Education (DfE) announced in addition to the already promised 1.7 billion

Sir Kevan Collins, the former education commissioner, canceled the government’s funding, describing it as “a little weak”. He had proposed a £ 15 billion bailout for education.

Kate Green, Labor shadow education secretary, said: “Conservative cuts have severely affected school budgets over the past decade.”

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

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