Just £14k per school from DfE's '£14bn' fund, say heads

Pot of new money for schools will ‘not enough to deliver all promises reverse cuts,’ Association of School and College Leaders warns

ASCL funding calculation

The DfE’s “£14 billion funding boost” will leave schools with just £14,000 each per year to reverse the funding cuts when rising costs have been considered, heads claimed today.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has calculated that the funding boost over the next three years will almost entirely be eaten up by costs including teacher pay and inflation.

The £14 billion actually equates to £7.1 billion when double and triple counting have been removed, financial experts, including ASCL, have calculated.

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ASCL says £2.3 billion of that will be absorbed by the cost of increasing teacher starting salaries to £30,000 by 2022/23, while growing pupil numbers will cost £1 billion, and inflation will account for another £2.4 billion. On top of that, the government has also committed £780 million to SEND provision, and £300 million to “levelling up” the worst-funded schools.

That leaves less than the £300 million which, divided by around 21,000 state-funded schools in England, would equate to about £14,000 per school.

'Nowhere near enough...'

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “This is nowhere near enough to restore the courses, extra-curricular activities and pupil support services cut since 2015, or to reverse rising class sizes.

“We are not arguing with the spending commitments made by the government. Our point is that this pot of money is not enough to deliver all the promises it has made and also reverse the education cuts.”

Last week ACSL called for teacher pay rise to be fully-funded on top of the funding boost, and said schools could be forced to cut jobs in order to meet the rising cost of teacher pay

ASCL’s calculations are contained in its submission to the Treasury ahead of the Budget on March 11. It estimates that this is at least £1.1 billion short of what is needed.

Its submission also says the £780 million for SEND provision in 2020/21 is not enough to address a £1.2 billion projected deficit in 2021.

The DfE has been contacted for a comment.

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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