Commenting on a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which shows that school funding will be 3% below 2010 levels in real terms in 2024 due to unexpectedly high cost pressures on schools, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“NAHT has been warning for months that the current unprecedented cost-of-living crisis is hitting school finances hard, and that the budgets schools set for the coming year are no longer balancing. We have said that there is a real risk that we are about to face another full-scale school funding crisis and this report supports that analysis.
“The impact of massively increased energy costs, as well as the cost of food, amongst other things, has coincided with an unexpected increase in staffing costs, due to the government’s decision not to fund pay awards, leaving schools scrambling to find the money to pay it. School leaders are already worried that they simply won’t be able to make their budgets balance next year, let alone the years that follow.”
“There is no doubt that the reality of the government’s current approach to education funding will lead to cuts to education, services and school staff next year. The government’s boast last year that it had restored school funding to 2010 levels was a feeble one, admitting a lost decade of no investment in education at all. It is now clear that even that meagre claim no longer holds true. For there now to be a real-terms decrease is scandalous – it is, after all, children that will ultimately suffer.”
First published 02 August 2022