IFS: Greening's funding pledge amounts to 'real-terms cut over four years'

Analysis by respected IFS follows Justine Greening's funding announcement yesterday.

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The £1.3 billion of school funding announced yesterday in parliament will deliver a real terms cut of nearly 5 per cent over the four years to 2019, it has been claimed.

Education secretary Justine Greening yesterday announced that schools will receive an additional £1.3 billion over the next two years, with money taken from elsewhere in the education budget.

She said the money meant that per-pupil funding would be maintained in real terms until 2019-20.

But Luke Sibieta of the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that, while the £1.3bn will ensure that per pupil spending is frozen between 2017 and 2019, it will still bring a real terms cut of 4.6 per cent between 2015 and 2019. This is due to inflation and rising pupil numbers.

In a joint statement, the ATL and NUT teaching unions warned that, despite Ms Greening's announcement, inflation will mean that most schools will end up significantly worse off in real terms by 2022.

Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary, welcomed the money bring brought in from 2018, but said it was "not a long term solution to the schools funding crisis". 

She said: "School budgets are already squeezed to the bone and children’s education is suffering. Schools need the money now so they can provide the teaching and support all their pupils need to reach their potential.”

NUT general secretary Kevin Courtney said: "We have told the government that schools are facing big real terms cuts.  The government has had to recognise that fact.  This extra money is welcome but it is nowhere near enough."

The NAHT headteachers union said school leaders would welcome any additional funding for schools, but that a extra £2bn a year was needed to address rising costs.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary designate of NAHT, said: “As we know, efficiency savings can only go so far in addressing the fact that there is not enough money in the system."


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