ASCL comment on IFS analysis of school funding

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which shows that the costs faced by schools are growing at a faster rate than school funding.
This IFS analysis shows the reality behind the government’s rhetoric about ‘record funding’ of schools – which is that schools are actually much less well funded than they were in 2010 when funding is set against rising costs. As a result, they have already had to make very difficult decisions about the amount of pastoral support and curriculum options they are able to provide, and what they can afford in terms of IT equipment, classroom resources and routine maintenance. Many of these issues are even worse in post-16 education which has been even more poorly funded. Meanwhile, capital budgets have been so severely cut since 2010 that many parts of the school estate are falling apart and are riddled with asbestos and crumbling concrete. And special educational needs provision is in crisis with the level of need much greater than the available resources. The government has another opportunity in next week’s spring budget to address these issues by investing in children and young people. We think that this a far better thing to do for this country than a pre-election tax cut for short-term political gain.”