How Schools Need to Make £3billion in Cuts by 2020: Squeeze on Budgets Fuelled by Rising Pupil NumbersLeave a comment
December 15, 2016 by dragonflytraining
Here at Dragonfly Training we know all about the severe cuts in educational funding, our MD Steve Chapman teaches every week at the most poorly funded state school in Britain. A dubious privilege he has had for a few years now.
However just as thought things could not get any worse….they have.
Schools will be forced to make around £3bn worth of cuts to their budgets by 2020 due to growing cost pressures, the government’s spending watchdog has warned. This is despite the National Audit Office revealing that more than 60 per cent of secondary schools are already spending more than their income due to increasingly squeezed budgets.
There are worrying signs that schools are under growing financial pressure, with many now spending more than their annual income. At the same time, the sector is being asked to make £3 billion in savings by 2019-20; and the government department supposed to support them to become more efficient have instead focused on structural reform.
The details were contained in a damning report published by the NAO today, which said the DfE was not doing enough to prepare schools for the additional “efficiency savings” that will needed to be made by 2019/20. The report states that a combination of cost pressures, including higher employer contributions to national insurance and the teacher pension scheme, has meant schools are expected to find savings of £1.3bn in procurement and £1.7bn in “using their staff more efficiently”.
Sir Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said schools were being asked to find the additional savings by 2020 despite the government handing them a real-terms cut to budgets over the same period.
The DfE said its plans for a national funding formula to be announced imminently, will mean schools are funded “according to their pupils’ needs”. “This will give headteachers certainty over their future budgets, helping them make long term plans and secure further efficiencies.
The increase in the pupil population has effectively eaten away at budgets, leaving schools with a real-terms cut. To make matters worse, as employers schools have had to increase both their pension and national insurance contributions, further squeezing budgets. Teachers were also handed a 1 per cent pay rise, which had led heads’ and teachers’ leaders to warn schools are at “breaking point” when it comes to their budgets.
Here at Dragonfly we fully understand the importance of fiscal responsibility, and that any government has to balance the books, but we strongly believe that there cuts are false economy and that it is our countries future that is potentially being held at risk.