Need to know: What can schools expect from the Budget?

This key moment in the political calendar has been moved from its traditional Wednesday slot, avoiding an unfortunate coincidence with Halloween, but will it nevertheless turn out to be a nightmare for schools? Tes reports.

Last year, then-education secretary Justine Greening diverted £1.3 billion from elsewhere in the DfE budget to maintain real-terms per-pupil funding for two years. However, the IFS last month said rising costs mean that school spending is nevertheless likely to fall in real terms this year and next.

What do schools and unions want from the Budget?

More money.

The unions want schools to be told their funding levels for the next five years so that they can plan ahead. And they want action on an issue that has been a point of contention since July: pay.

What does the DfE want from the Budget?

More money.

While Mr Hinds has been less public in demanding more Treasury money than then-health secretary Jeremy Hunt or defence secretary Gavin Williamson, he did say in July that schools were a “special case” for more government funding, on a par with the NHS.

And it is known that behind the scenes he has been putting the case for schools, colleges and other areas covered by his department in the run-up to the Budget.

So, will schools be showered with cash today?

Don’t hold your breath.

Philip Hammond has a reputation as a fiscal conservative when it comes to public spending, and his options for distributing any new money are highly restricted by promises from his Downing Street neighbour to boost NHS funding and continue the freeze on petrol duty.

And when education secretaries have fought the chancellor for more Treasury money in recent years, they have instead been forced to raid their own budgets to prevent real-terms cuts to per pupil funding, and to give schools extra money to help fund this year’s teacher pay rise.

Read the full article Need to know: What can schools expect from the Budget?

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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