The Independent is reporting that schoolchildren and adult learners are “paying the price for austerity” as new figures show education spending has been slashed by more than £7bn since 2011, Labour has said.
Analysis by the House of Commons Library found that real-terms spending on schools and colleges had slumped from £95.5bn in 2011/12 to £87.8bn last year, a total fall of £7.7bn.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner accused the Department for Education (DfE) of breaking a promise on school funding, after ministers repeatedly claimed that every school would receive a cash increase.
In a letter published in October, Sir David Norgrove, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said the DfE had misused statistics on at least three occasions in recent months.
Education minister Nick Gibb was also criticised for claiming that the UK’s spending on education was the third highest in the world. It later emerged that the figures in questions did not relate solely to government spending but instead included private school fees and university loans.
The DfE has been contacted for comment.
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