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To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the finding of the National Audit Office in its report entitled, Financial Sustainability of Schools, published in December 2016, that schools are ill-equipped to implement the planned £3 billion in savings by the end of the current Parliament.
The Government has protected the core schools budget in real terms. That means that in 2017-18 schools will have more funding than ever before for children’s education, totalling over £40 billion.
The National Audit Office (NAO) report is clear that it is reasonable to look to schools to make efficiencies, and that – based on variations in spending across schools with similar levels of challenge and achieving similar outcomes – the necessary savings are achievable without affecting educational outcomes.
To support this we have produced tools, information and guidance for schools. Most recently, we published the Schools’ Buying Strategy, to help schools make significant savings, over £1bn a year by 2019-20, in non-pay and procurement costs.
We have also launched Workforce Planning Guidance, which contains links to advice and case studies, as well as lists of options and questions for school leaders to consider when reviewing their staff structures.
We will continue to update and improve the package of support we offer to schools.