“This IFS report is a badly needed dose of reality which exposes the recklessness of the government’s spending plans for the public sector, including the potential devastating impact on schools and colleges.
“We have repeatedly warned that rising costs – including pay awards for which there is no additional government funding – are simply unaffordable within current budgets, and that schools and colleges will have to make significant cuts to provision.
“To be clear, these national pay awards are very much needed, deserved and should go a lot further. But it is simply ridiculous that the government expects them to be paid without providing money for schools and colleges to pay them.
“Combined with other rising costs, this will inevitably necessitate a reduction in staffing numbers because this is the largest cost and that will in turn mean cuts to the curriculum, larger class sizes and less support for children who need extra support.
“The notion that the government may seek additional ‘efficiencies’ on top of this is genuinely chilling.”