DfE pledges extra money to cover schools’ increased pension costs

The DfE will provide extra money to ensure that schools do not lose out in the first year that they have to pay higher contributions to teachers’ pensions. Tes reports.

However, a DfE document published today still leaves schools in the dark about whether they will have to fund the increase from their own budgets in the years that follow.

The government announced last September that schools will see the amount that they have to pay into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme rise from 16.48 per cent now to 23.6 per cent in September 2019.

The DfE had pledged £830 million to cover the extra cost of the increase for state-funded schools until at least April 2020, and £80 million to cover FE colleges and other public-funded training organisations.

But it said that it would not cover the costs of independent schools, sparking fears for the future of many prep schools.

Today, the DfE published its response to its consultation about the issue.

It says that the money for schools will be allocated on a per-pupil basis, and that the DfE will create a new supplementary fund to help schools that are still left out of pocket.

The DfE said this will mean that any school which has a shortfall of more than 0.05 per cent of their grant, compared to their actual costs, will not be left in financial difficulty.

Speaking during the consultation period, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said he would be seeking assurances that funding would cover the cost of the increased contribution rate “in full” not just for next year but for future years.

He said: “Schools and colleges are very concerned about the potential impact of this. They cannot afford yet another unfunded cost on budgets which are already under severe pressure.”

Read more DfE pledges extra money to cover schools’ increased pension costs

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