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Schools: Warrington North

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th February 2017.

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Photo of Helen Jones Helen Jones Chair, Petitions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the effect of (a) rate increases, (b) the apprenticeship levy, (c) increases in national insurance and pension contributions and (d) increases in salaries on school budgets in Warrington North constituency, in each of the next four years.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

We recognise that schools, as with other public services, are facing cost pressures. These will include salary increases, increases to employers’ National Insurance and Teachers’ Pension Scheme contributions, the apprenticeship levy and general inflation.

The apprenticeship levy will support schools to train and develop new and existing staff, an integral part of this government’s wider plans to improve productivity and provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds and all ages to enter the workplace.

On a per pupil basis, these pressures are estimated at around 8% between 2015-16 and 2019-20. It is important to note that this is not an estimate of pressures still to come – over the next three years, per pupil pressures will average 1.5-1.6%, a year.

In response to this we have produced tools, information and guidance for schools financial health and efficiency, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/schools-financial-health-and-efficiency.

We also know there is significant scope for savings in non-pay and procurement costs. We have launched a school buying strategy to support schools to save over £1bn a year by 2019-20 on their non-staff spend. In practice, this means schools can invest more of their resources in the classroom, making even more of a difference to the children that need it most.

Maintained schools and academies are funded for business rates on the basis of their actual rate bills. The National Funding Formula consultation proposes that these arrangements should continue.

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