The education department has settled its departmental spending figures for 2015-16, David Laws, the schools minister, said at a public meeting yesterday. This is from the Guardian…
He claimed he was pleased about the outcome for schools, implying that the settlement for further education and pre-school learning may be less good. It had been suggested that the education department was willing to take a £2bn cut.
Laws’s aides denied that he said a settlement had been reached, and said instead that the department was “very, very close” to settling.
The education secretary, Michael Gove, had a commitment from the Treasury that the schools budgets would not be cut – important for Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, who has made extra funding for the pupil premium for children on free school meals one of his priorities.
It was suggested that the schools budget was likely to receive a flat-rate real-terms settlement. Clegg will be deeply disappointed if he has to accept a cut in the budget for two-year-old nursery education, another of his priorities.
George Osborne, is due to publish the outcome of the 2015-16 spending review on Wednesday next week. The spending review is unusual for covering only one year and also settling budgets into the first year of the next parliament.
We reported the possibility of cuts to pre-school and FE as a way of the Treasury saving money but not breaking the ring-fenced schools budget argument. What will you make of this is it does turn out to be correct? Please share in the comments below, on Twitter or by using this form