Labour fury over '£1.7bn school funding cut since 2015'

Posted On: 
4th November 2018

Schools in England have missed out on a whopping £1.7bn since 2015 as Government funding fails to keep up with demand, Labour has claimed.

The IFS said primary and secondary schools had seen a 4% cut in per pupil funding since 2015
Credit: 
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Primary school pupils have each seen a real-terms annual funding cut of £195.88, while those at secondary level have seen a gap of £256.77, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Labour added the numbers up to reach a grand total and found funding was £1.68bn behind where it would be if the Government had kept cash tied to pupil number changes.

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The Government insists overall funding is at its highest ever levels - a different claim to those who argue budgets for each pupil are lagging behind demand.

Chancellor Philip Hammond angered school leaders last week when he announced a one-off £400m payment for schools to buy “little extras” that they need.

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: “The Tories have slashed billions from schools and now the Chancellor thinks they should be grateful he’s offered them a whiteboard.

“His suggestion that schools just need ‘little extras’ is downright insulting.

“Instead of offering a sticking plaster to schools this government should be genuinely investing in them, reversing their unjustifiable cuts.

“The next Labour government will reverse these cuts, giving our schools the resources they need and increasing per pupil funding to a record high.”

The IFS, in its annual report on education, said school spending per pupil had fallen by 8% in real terms since 2010 - driven mainly by a 55% cut to local authority funding and cuts of over 20% to sixth forms.

It said taking just primary and secondary schools into account showed a funding loss of about 4% below its peak in 2015.

But school standards minister Nick Gibb said: "This year we have given every local authority more money for every pupil in every school. School spending is rising in real terms because of our balanced approach to the economy, which is seeing us spend more on public services while keeping debt falling and taxes cut.

"Thanks to the hard work of teachers and pupils, 1.9 million more children are attending good or outstanding schools compared with 2010.

"Labour cannot deliver the strong economy to give schools the funding that they need. What’s more, their plan to scrap academies and free schools would reverse the reforms that are raising standards in schools, putting ideology before education."