Schools budget could be cut by £3bn, National Audit Office report warns

The Independent is reporting that over the next four years, schools must reduce spending by 8% per pupil which can equate to £3bn.

A National Audit Office report into the financial sustainability of schools has warned that mainstream schools will need to reduce spending by an average of 8 per cent per pupil by 2019-2020 – a difference education leaders say is the biggest real terms cut in a generation.

The independent parliamentary audit group named staff pay rises, higher employer contributions to national insurance and the teachers’ pension scheme as examples of rising industry costs that are unsustainable.

It also warned that while the Department for Education’s overall budget is protected in real terms, it does not provide for funding per pupil to increase in line with inflation.

Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner called the projections “an appalling indictment of Tory policies” that would surely lead to redundancies.

“The only conclusion I can come to is that these cuts will mean teachers are going to be made redundant, or that there is going to be a recruitment freeze, at a time when teachers are already leaving the profession in droves and we have a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.”

More at: Schools budget could be cut by £3bn, National Audit Office report warns

 

The union GMB have criticised this move from the government:

Ill-thought out strategy shows Tories ‘know the price of everything and the value of nothing’, according to union

Children will pay the inevitable price when an estimated £3billion is slashed from school budgets, says GMB.

State schools in England will have to find a massive £3bn in savings by 2019-20 according to the National Audit Office (NAO). [1]

Around 60 per cent of secondary schools already have deficits – and all schools will now face a further eight per cent cut in their budget.

A new funding formula set to be announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening today will see 10,000 schools gaining money and similar numbers losing out. 

Sharon Wilde, GMB National Schools Organiser, said:

“Our education system needs real investment for all schools.

“The government has the wrong strategy yet again – this robbing Peter to pay Paul policy does not work in education and it is our children who will suffer. 

“GMB support staff, our hidden professionals in schools, are already struggling to juggle the demands that are asked of them and face further pressure if budgets are squeezed. 

“This government, and this education secretary, have repeatedly demonstrated that, where education is concerned, they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

 

 

Let us know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena

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