The Education Secretary is giving an extra £1.3bn to schools, by stealing it from their own budgets

Justine Greening
Support us and go ad-free

On Monday 17 July, Education Secretary Justine Greening announced an “additional” £1.3bn for front-line school spending. But far from being extra money, she is actually just taking the cash from existing school budgets; and forcing local authorities to pick up much of the outstanding bill.

We don’t need no dodgy budgets

Greening said in a statement that:

There will… be an additional £1.3 billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20, in addition to the schools budget set at Spending Review 2015. This funding is across the next two years as we transition to the NFF [National Funding Formula].

She said this was because the government “believes that all children should have an education that unlocks their potential”. But instead of ‘unlocking’ new cash, Greening is taking the money from existing Department for Education (DfE) budgets.

We don’t need no thought control

The £1.3bn will be taken from the following:

  • £420m “efficiency savings” from the DfE capital budget. £315m of this will come from the Healthy Pupils Capital Programme, which is central government money for schools to spend on sports facilities.
  • £280m from the ‘free schools’ budget. But instead of scrapping the schools altogether, the DfE will now make local authorities pay for 30 of the 140 planned free schools.
  • £600m over two years from the DfE resource budget. This is the money the DfE has for day-to-day spending and administration.

No dark sarcasm in the classroom

This is likely to cause controversy among parents and teachers alike; because teaching unions are already warning about funding cuts due to the new NFF. As The Canary previously reported, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says the NFF will mean funding per pupil will be cut by as much as 7% by 2022:

Taking account of forecast growth in pupil [numbers], this equates to a real-terms cut in spending per pupil of 2.8% between 2017–18 and 2021–22. Adding this to past cuts makes for a total real-terms cut to per-pupil spending of around 7%…

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

These cuts will affect children in the most deprived areas the greatest. And the IFS also noted that:

[The NFF is] the largest cut in school spending per pupil over a four-year period since at least the early 1980s.

But the “additional” £1.3bn that Greening has promised will only increase per pupil spending across all schools by 0.5% a year (and by 3% in schools that are classed as “underfunded”). So, in theory, Greening is still cutting per pupil spending in all schools by 6.5%.

Hey! Greening! Leave them kids alone!

So Greening is firstly cutting per pupil funding with the NFF. And now, she’s ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, by slashing the DfE budget in other areas. And it looks like local councils and schools themselves will have to clean up the mess. For all the government’s talk of “unlocking” children’s “potential” and “talent”, the only thing it seems keen on ‘unlocking’ is yet more savings in the name of its ideological austerity regime.

Get Involved!

Read more from The Canary on education.

Join The Canary, so we can keep bringing you the news that matters.

Featured image via YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed