ASCL comment on IFS report showing rise in school costs outpacing inflation

Julia Harnden, Funding Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which states that general measures of economy-wide inflation are not providing an accurate picture of the cost pressures faced by schools.
“The government loves to talk about the amount of money it is spending on education, but this report shows up these facile boasts for what they are. The reality is that the extra funding that has been provided, following years of cuts, is being swallowed up by rising costs and school budgets remain under enormous strain.
“We have long warned that the standard inflation measure does not produce a realistic picture of the pressures that schools and colleges are facing. Funding needs to reflect the real-terms inflation that the sector is dealing with. Otherwise, you end up with politicians talking about record levels of investment, when schools in actual fact have less spending power than they did in 2010.
“We also support the IFS’s call to bring forward the process for agreeing teacher and support staff pay to earlier in the academic year. This unnecessary delay hampers school leaders when trying to plan and manage already tight budgets for the forthcoming school year.”