Large MATs see biggest cuts to teaching budgets

Spending on secondary teachers in the largest multi-academy trusts has fallen by 7 per cent since 2010, research shows

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Schools that have converted to academies since 2010 have seen some of the biggest reductions to teacher spending, a think tank has found.

A report published today by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) looks at how school spending on teachers has evolved in recent decades.

Since 2010, expenditure on teachers across all local authority secondary schools has fallen by 2 per cent, while across all secondary academies it has fallen by 3 per cent, the research finds.


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But in the largest trusts, the falls among secondary schools have been much bigger since then – at 6 per cent in "national" trusts and 7 per cent in "system leader" trusts.

School funding: cuts to teacher spending

EPI head of research Jon Andrews said one explanation could be that multi-academy trusts may be achieving efficiency savings through curriculum-led financial planning.

He also said that middle and senior leadership roles were possibly being logged at trust level rather than school level, meaning expenditure on those roles would not show up on school data.

He said: “It might be that trusts are managing their funds more efficiently."

However, Mr Andrews added: "In some cases, it might be that they do have younger teachers who tend to be less expensive.”

The research states that, between 2003 and 2010, local authority secondary schools that would later convert to academies in large multi-academy trusts (MATs) saw some of the largest increases in expenditure on teachers.

However, between 2010 and 2017, these schools experienced some of the biggest reductions in teacher spending. The report states: "This could reflect a different approach to workforce management and deployment in these trusts."

The Department for Education has been contacted for a comment.

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