Schools: Finance

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ouseley Lord Ouseley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the decrease in school spending per pupil in England on pupil educational achievement between 2009 and 2018.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) figures show that school funding was protected in real terms per pupil between 2010-11 and 2015-16, and protected in real terms overall between 2015-16 and 2017-18. The department is committed to protecting funding in real terms per pupil across 2018-19 and 2019-20, with core funding for schools and high needs rising from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £43.5 billion in 2019-20. The IFS figures also show that real terms per pupil funding for 5 to 16 year olds in 2020 will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000 and more than 70% higher than in 1990.

The department have also introduced the national funding formula to distribute this funding more fairly. Since 2017, the national funding formula has given every local authority more money for every pupil in every school, while allocating the biggest increases to the schools that have been the most underfunded.

Primary school children achieved their highest ever score in the most recent international reading tests in 2016. As at August 2018, 86% of schools have been rated good or outstanding, compared to 68% in 2010.

Despite prioritising spending on schools and making the distribution of that funding fairer across the country, the department recognises that budgets remain tight. That is why the department is supporting schools and head teachers to make the most of their budgets and reduce costs on expenditures like energy, water bills and materials.

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