School Cuts website update

66% of special schools and 63% of maintained nursery schools (MNS) in England have faced real-terms cuts since 2010.


New data released today on the updated School Cuts website shows that government funding decisions have resulted in major real-terms cuts for special schools and maintained nursery schools in England.   

582 out of 882 (66%) comparable special schools in England had lower real terms per pupil funding in 2022-23 than in 2010-11. Real terms per pupil funding has fallen by £2,841 (9%) between 2010-11 and 2022-23, with the cut to the spending power of English special schools amounting to £419 million.  

Moreover, 229 out of 366 (63%) comparable MNS in England had lower real terms per pupil funding in 2022-23 than in 2010-11. Maintained nursery schools have experienced a huge cut to their real terms funding per pupil of 19% (£2,391) on average. An extra £61 million would need to be invested to ensure all MNS have the same spending power as in 2010.   

The School Cuts website is run by education unions National Education Union, Association of School and College Leaders and school leaders’ union NAHT, supported by Parentkind and National Governance Association.    

Ahead of the general election, the organisations behind the School Cuts website are collectively calling for all political parties to commit to a plan to invest the funding needed in education to eradicate all school cuts. After fourteen years of cuts, at least £12.2 billion1 is needed to restore school spending power to 2010 levels, repair crumbling school buildings and tackle the crisis in SEND funding.   

Schoolcuts website

Pepe Di’Iasio, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Inadequate funding has left many schools in a perilous financial position and brought the special educational needs system to its knees. The next government needs to see education as an investment rather than a cost and ensure all mainstream and special schools have the resources to support the needs of all their pupils.” 

Paul Whiteman, general secretary at school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “For too long, education has been sidelined by government. A failure to invest properly in pupils, school staff and buildings, causes real harm to children’s learning, social development and both their and the country’s future prospects. It’s vital that whoever comes to power next month restores education as a national priority and ensures schools have the funding needed to deliver a first-rate education for all children.” 

Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  “School cuts have left education in crisis, with some of our most vulnerable children paying the price. This willful neglect of education services has failed an entire generation of children; the next Government must not fail another. There needs to be a commitment from all the political parties that whoever wins this election that education receives the funding it needs to give every child the education and support they need”.

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