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Fix School Funding

The issue

  • There has been 15 years with no overall growth in  school spending. This squeeze on school resources is effectively without precedent in post-war UK history.
  • Schools are now facing new and significant cost pressures e.g. surging energy prices, covid-related costs, falling primary pupil numbers, the National Insurance increase, and pressures due to significant underfunding of SEND.
  • Changes to the government’s national funding formula (NFF) have seen a redistribution of funding away from schools serving the most deprived communities in recent years.
  • Funding for pupils with special educational needs (SEND) is in crisis, with overall High Needs budget deficits estimated to be more than £2billion and growing
  • The value of pupil premium funding designed to support the most disadvantaged pupils has fallen in real-terms since 2015.
  • The government has only invested a small fraction of the covid recovery funding that its own recovery commissioner said would be required.
  • Between 2009-10 and 2021-22, capital spending declined by 25% in cash terms, and 29% when adjusted for inflation.
  • Specific types of schools including small schools and maintained nursery schools remain under extreme financial pressure and many of facing the real risk of closure.


What we want to see

  • The government needs to be more ambitious for schools and set out a proper funding plan that addresses the 15 funding squeeze.
  • The government needs to offer more support for schools experiencing severe financial pressures as a result of rising energy costs.
  • The government should set out a proper long-term capital funding plan to bring all schools up to ‘good’ condition.
  • The government should commit to a truly ambitious recovery plan based on the work of its own recovery commissioner.
  • The government should commit to at least restoring pupil premium funding in real-term terms, and increasing the Early Years Pupil Premium to reach parity with the primary pupil premium.
  • A consultation on the long-term future of the approach to maintained nursery school funding should be launched without delay.
  • The government must use the ling-awaited SEND review to develop a truly needs-led approach to SEND funding.
  • Sufficient and sustainable funding for small schools.


What we want you to do


Our conference motion

“Conference instructs National Executive to develop a national fair funding campaign to press government  to provide a sufficient overall level of funding to meet the needs of all pupils, through the national funding formula and the high needs national funding formula. This is required now to enable schools to set budgets from 2022-2023. It would allow them to meet all their statutory responsibilities and provide an extended curriculum offer that supports all children and young people to thrive academically, socially, physically and spiritually.

Conference further instructs National Executive to campaign for an increase in capital funding that will address the nation’s decrepit school estate, to ensure that school buildings and grounds are safe, fit for purpose and appropriate for the needs of the 21st century.”

Useful links

MP roundtable resources

Other useful links

Relevant articles and reports



Relaunch of the School Cuts website

Tomorrow (Saturday, 24 February 2024), in partnership with NEU, ASCL and ParentKind, we will be relaunching our joint campaign website, School Cuts (https://schoolcuts.org.uk/), aimed at urging the prime minister to prioritise school funding.

Our primary ask remains consistent: an additional investment of £12.2bn for next year. This funding allocation is essential to address critical issues within our education system, including restoring school spending power to 2010/11 levels in real terms, meeting capital investment recommendations from the Office for Government Property and preventing the worsening of the crisis in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) support.

This relaunch builds on the momentum generated by our priority campaigns, launched at the start of February. By renewing our efforts and amplifying our message through this joint campaign, we aim to mobilise support further and push for tangible action from policymakers.

Please visit the campaign website when it relaunches tomorrow, with its updated statistics showing how much funding has been cut from all schools since 2010/11 (in terms of cuts to their spending power) and what this equates to on a per-pupil basis, and to actively engage in promoting it to your respective networks and communities, encouraging members to sign the petition asking prime minister Rishi Sunak to avoid a funding crisis for schools next year. 

To bolster your outreach efforts, campaign graphics are available here for your use on social media. These resources will help amplify our message and reach a wider audience.

Together, we can continue to drive positive change and secure the necessary resources for our schools and pupils.



First published 23 February 2024