ASCL comment on government’s refusal to restore £370m of school funding

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the letter from Schools Minister Nick Gibb rejecting union calls to restore funding rates announced in July
“This is a very disappointing response from Nick Gibb. The fact remains that the amount of per pupil funding has been reduced compared to the allocations that were announced in July. This is at a time when school budgets are extremely tight and it is inevitable that schools will have to make cuts to their planned expenditure as a result of this adjustment. The mistake that was made in calculating these allocations was not the fault of schools and yet they are left having to pay the price. Only a couple of weeks ago, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that by 2024−25, after accounting for the specific costs facing schools, it estimated that real-terms school funding per pupil will still be 3% lower than in 2010. In this context, it seems perfectly reasonable to ask the government to honour the funding commitments it made in July. It is a sad reflection of its priorities that it cannot manage to do even this.”