Britain trails Poland, Baltic states, and parts of former Yugoslavia on education spending

The Independent reports that Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, and Slovenia all spend a higher proportion of their GDP on education than Britain, the Eurostat figures released on Monday show.  

The stats follow a row at the general election about the Conservatives’ planned cuts to schools, which the Institute for Fiscal Studies said would see funding fall by 3 per cent by 2021 under plans laid out in the Tory manifesto.  

In March the cross-party Public Accounts Committee warned that the biggest school funding shortages in England since the ‘90s were threatening to damage schools standards.

A report by the committee said that there was a “collective delusion” in Government that spending cuts in the education system could be achieved by making efficiency savings.

Across Europe the highest levels of education spending in terms of GDP are are Denmark (7.0 per cent), Sweden (6.5 per cent), and Belgium (6.4 per cent). 

The Treasury has failed to earmark more cash for education or schools since the election, but Education Secretary Justine Greening in July announced that she was raiding the free schools budget to bolster the core schools budget by £1.3 billion.

Ms Greening said in July that schools funding “is at a record high because of the choices we have made to protect and increase school funding even as we faced difficult decisions elsewhere to restore our country’s finances”.

Read more Britain trails Poland, Baltic states, and parts of former Yugoslavia on education spending

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