UK stats watchdog investigates DfE funding claims

The UK statistics watchdog is investigating the government over claims it is spending record amounts on school funding, after it emerged its figures included billions of pounds of university and private school fees. Tes reports.

For years the Department of Education has parried calls to increase the cash available for schools by claiming funding is at record levels and the third-highest of the OECD group of rich nations.

Minister for school standards, Nick Gibb, repeated the claim last week in a bid to deflect criticism as over 2,000 headteachers marched on Downing Street to protest against funding cuts.

But the UK Statistics Authority has launched an investigation after analysis by the BBC found the government’s figures, from 2015, actually included spending on all educational institutions, not just schools.

It also includes private spending, including billions in fees for universities and private schools.

“The UK Statistics Authority and the Office for Statistics Regulation are investigating the concerns raised, and will publish their findings shortly,” said a spokesperson.

Jules White, coordinator of the Worth Less? Campaign which organised last week’s march, called the government’s claims “shocking and disturbing”.

“The Department for Education, continually uses partial and distorted information to mislead parents. Now there is irrefutable proof that this has happened yet again,” he said.

Read the full article UK stats watchdog investigates DfE funding claims

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