Funding statistics mask impact of inflation on schools

Julia Harnden, Funding Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to school funding statistics published by the Department for Education today.
“While we welcome the additional funding that has been targeted to the core schools budget, these statistics do not tell the whole story. The IFS has stated that general measures of economy-wide inflation are not providing an accurate picture of the cost pressures faced by schools. We do not think that the GDP deflator, used to calculate these statistics, is a sensible inflation measure to use in estimating school costs. The CPI is a more realistic measure. The IFS suggests that school costs are likely to increase by almost 4% if staff salaries increase in line with CPI projections.
“It’s clear that many schools remain in a very difficult financial position. The Chancellor must use the Spring Budget to invest in education - as the Prime Minister promised at the Conservative conference - ensuring schools can afford staff pay awards and the other rising costs they are faced with. We also remain concerned about the impact of the withdrawal of several strands of recovery funding associated with the Covid-19 pandemic at the end of this academic year and urge the Chancellor to continue making this funding available.”