ASCL comment on IFS school funding report

18/09/2020
Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the IFS report about school funding in England.
 
Commenting on the IFS report about school funding in England, Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: 

“Schools know only too well the realities of real-terms funding cuts, and it is shameful that those serving deprived communities have been particularly badly affected. On the ground, this translates into cuts to the curriculum, and larger class sizes. 

“The extra £7.1 billion being put into schools by the government through to 2022-23 is welcome, but it will be largely absorbed by the costs of pay awards, rising pupil numbers, and other inflationary costs. There won’t be enough to reverse the cuts that have already taken place, and the financial situation will continue to be challenging for the foreseeable future. 

“Sixth forms and colleges, which have received a much smaller funding uplift from the government, continue to be woefully underfunded and the squeeze in this sector is especially severe. 

“The financial situation in schools and colleges is made worse by the fact that the government has so far refused to reimburse the significant costs that have been incurred in putting in place Covid safety measures in order to reopen this term, such as enhanced cleaning, hand sanitisers, signage, and supply cover when teachers have to self-isolate. 

“This will put even more strain on budgets which are at breaking point and mean that schools and colleges have less money to spend on educational provision.

“It is a desperate situation and the government has its head buried in the sand.”