Commenting on Cost-of-living crisis: Impact on schools - School Provision, a report by the National Foundation for Educational Research, Niamh Sweeney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“This report highlights the cost-of-living pressures facing schools and the wide variety of outcomes among schools. Almost half of primary schools and special schools (at 49 and 48%) and two-fifths of secondary schools (at 41%) in England had or were expecting an in-year deficit in 2022/23.
“The Government has promised more money for education in cash terms, with an 18.1% increase between 2021-22 and 2024-25. However, the Office for Budgetary Responsibility’s forecasts for the 2022 Autumn statement predicted a cumulative 25.4% RPI increase over the same period. Schools funding is facing further real-terms cuts as a result. This also assumes that inflation falls as fast as anticipated. If inflation is more persistent - as has been the case - then the real-terms cuts will be even greater.
“SEND funding remains in crisis. Government funding is increasing, but not by nearly enough to match the increase in demand. NEU analysis indicates SEND funding should be over £3bn higher if Education Health and Care Plans were funded at the same rate as in 2015-16. Ignoring the issue will not make it go away.”