To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to paragraph 3.6 of her Department's consultation, Schools national funding formula, Government consultation - stage 2, what the evidential basis is for the assessment of cost pressures on schools.
School funding is at its highest level on record at more than £40bn in 2016-17 - and that is set to rise, as pupil numbers rise over the next two years, to £42 billion by 2019-20. Analysis by the Institute for Financial Studies (IFS) has also shown that spending per pupil almost doubled in real terms between 1997 and 2016.
We recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, and we estimate that, nationally, they amount to approximately an 8% cumulative pressure, per pupil, between the start of 2016-17 and 2019-20. It is important to note that some of these pressures have already materialised; 8% is not an estimate of pressures still to come. Over the next three years, per pupil pressures will, on average, be between 1.5-1.6%, each year.
The National Audit Office report on the Financial Sustainability of Schools details the level of costs pressures on schools, based on the Department’s estimates: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Financial-sustainability-of-schools.pdf
We will continue to provide advice and support to help them use their funding in cost effective ways, and improve the way they buy goods and services, so they get the best possible value for their pupils. 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.