The TES is reporting acknowledgement from a senior DfE official that schools face a “highly challenging” financial situation for the next few years.
…Speaking at a school funding conference in London, Mr [Tony] Foot [director of the department’s education funding group] said that although schools fared better than many other parts of the public sector in Chancellor George Osborne’s spending review in November, they would face a difficult few years.
“I’m under no illusion, in all of the conferences I go to and the colleagues that I talk to, that the next few years are going to be highly challenging for the system,” he said.
Mr Foot told headteachers: “The schools budget is protected in real terms. There’s a lot of nuance around what that really means in practice.
“So to be very clear, it means the core DSG [dedicated schools grant] and the pupil premium as a total pot are protected in real terms, as is the cash amount per pupil in the DSG as a whole and the cash rates within the pupil premium.
“It doesn’t mean real terms protection per pupil, and it doesn’t mean protection for all elements of schools funding,” he said, adding that the Education Services Grant – which is handed to academies to cover the cost of services that would otherwise be provided by local authorities – would be “phased out”, saving £600m.
Per-pupil funding would fall in real terms to “lower than the system has been used to over many years”, he said, adding that on top of this, “[cost] pressures on the schools budget are clearly running at a pretty high level”…
I’m not sure there is anything new here, but ominous nonetheless.
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