School funding pressures in England

This report by the Education Policy Institute examines the latest trends in local authority maintained school balances, and assesses whether all schools will be able to meet cost pressures over the next two years, following recent government funding reforms. This new analysis, ‘School funding pressures in England’, builds on EPI research last year on the implications of the government’s National Funding Formula for schools and changes in real per pupil spending. The report finds that over the period of four years up until 2016-17, the proportion of local authority secondary schools in deficit nearly trebled, expanding to over a quarter of all such schools – or 26.1 per cent. It also finds that over two-thirds of local authority maintained secondary schools spent more than their income in 2016-17. Examining the financial impact of the 1% staff pay settlement on all schools (including local authority maintained, academies, and free schools), the analysis shows that funding allocated by the government through the funding formula fails to meet pressures on schools budgets produced by this cost alone. This is despite the announcement of an extra £1.3 billion in funding for schools by the government in July 2017. The report concludes that as education staff account for the majority of spending by schools – around two-thirds, it is likely that schools will find it difficult to achieve the scale of savings necessary without also cutting back on staff. Many schools will face the challenge of containing budget pressures and reducing staffing numbers without impacting on education standards.

Read Full Report

Explore our reports

  • Reset
Advanced search