No hope of extra funding for schools
The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has recently stated that schools are unlikely to see any increased funding in the next few years. In an interview with the Times Educational Supplement he indicated that the government’s forthcoming spending review is more about looking at ways to help schools shave money off budgets.
The funding shortfall in the UK’s current educational environment is leading to redundancies and cuts to education courses in a lot of schools, however, Damian Hinds does not believe the UK is failing to make sufficient financial contributions to education when compared to other countries. He said: “Compared to other countries, we don’t spend a great deal less than they do on education. In fact, with many comparisons we spend more, and, of course, compared to 20 years ago we spend considerably more per pupil in schools than we used to”.
This is not a widespread opinion, however, as the Institute for Fiscal Studies calculated in June 2018 that school funding had been cut by 8% since 2010.
Mr Hinds commented that he recognised it is challenging to make any school budget, he said: “Funding is tight and that is because although there is more money spent on schools than in days gone by, and although it is comparable or in many cases higher than in other countries, we all have high expectations, and schools themselves have high expectations and are constantly pushing themselves to do more. Part of the School Resource Management Strategy is about making sure that, where there are opportunities to find ways to ease some of those difficulties, that it is possible to do that”.
With schools needing to find the funding for the first 1% of the current teacher pay rise it’s likely to be the case that some schools will need to make more cuts to existing budgets to ensure salaries are paid in full. The Department for Education DfE) will not be providing any additional assistance to schools struggling to meet this 1% portion of teacher pay rises. Mr Hinds said: “You have to have a working assumption about what is going to happen to any large cost item next year versus this year. The assumption to make would have been a 1 percent increase on average”.
Schools are encouraged to begin following the DfE’s new School Resource Management Strategy which offers advice about saving money on a range of activities, like photocopying, insurances and utilities.
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