IFS on school funding

Up until this point the Government have ignored a growing existential crisis in education that is happening on their watch. 


Commenting on an analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies of school funding and costs in England which highlights a likely fall in the purchasing power of schools in 2024/25, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:     

“The NEU agrees with the IFS that the correct way to chart progress in the education system is by reference to school costs. School costs have grown faster than inflation, and faster than education funding since 2010. It is school purchasing power that counts in providing an education system fit for the 21st century.   

“Persistent underfunding has led to deep and lasting effects on the education sector. Class sizes are at record levels - primary class sizes are the highest in Europe and secondary class sizes are the highest since records began more than 40 years ago. All children deserve to be taught in classes of fewer than 30 led by a qualified teacher, but this is simply not being addressed. Nor is the recruitment and retention crisis, when the government cannot even meet its own targets in teacher training. No wonder teachers are leaving the profession in high numbers.   

“70% of schools in England have lower real-terms funding this year than in 2010. 380 schools have lost more than £2,000 in real terms per pupils funding due to government cuts. 2024-25 promises more of the same. Core school funding through the National Funding Formula will rise by only 1.9% on average.   

“Urgent action is needed in the Spring Budget to address shortfalls in spending and to finally address the recruitment and retention crisis in teaching.    

"Up until this point Government have not listened to the clear evidence put in front of them. They are ignoring a growing existential crisis in education that is happening on their watch.   

“To demonstrate how serious this is our members will be consulted from 2 March, via a preliminary electronic ballot, to gauge their willingness to take industrial action to win additional funding from Government for pay and additional staffing resources. By not fully funding pay awards, the Government makes it even harder for heads to balance the books.” 

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