School Cuts website relaunched amidst deepening funding crisis

New projections for school funding, compiled by School Cuts, show that 90% of schools with comparable data will have lower per pupil funding in real terms in 2023-24 than in 2022-23. Real terms per-pupil funding is set to be cut by £147 over the same period. This is on top of historic real-terms cuts. 
Today sees the launch of a fully updated School Cuts website. Anticipating the Chancellor's Statement on 17 November, School Cuts makes clear the stark situation ahead of us.
The new analysis by School Cuts shows:
  • Of 20,094 schools with comparable data 18,060 (90%) had lower per pupil funding in real terms in 2023-24 than in 2022-23, and 12,952 (68%) had lower per pupil funding in real terms than in 2015-16.
  • Real terms per pupil funding (in 2022-23 prices using our school costs index) will be cut on average from £6,028 in 2022-23 to £5,881 in 2023-24. This cut in per pupil funding is equivalent to a cut in school spending power of £1 bn or 2.4%. 
  • Even before the upcoming cuts, real terms per-pupil funding remains lower than it was in 2015-16. In 2015-16 it stood at £6,205 and in 2022-23 it is £178 less. School spending power is £1.3 bn lower than it was in 2015-16 or 2.9%.
  • Schools that have been historically under-funded face the largest cuts in 2023-24.
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Behind these bleak statistics, lies the human story of what the underfunding of education will mean for schools, colleges, children and young people. There will be no alternative other than to cut the number of teachers and support staff, and this will lead to larger class sizes, reduced curriculum options, and less support for pupils. Projects to improve facilities will be scrapped, the heating will remain off for longer, and everything from school trips to school meals will be affected. The government must make education a priority and reverse the erosion of a public service that is vital not only to the life chances of children and young people but also to the country’s future economic stability.”
Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The School Cuts website will enable every parent to see for themselves the impact of the financial crisis in their child’s own school. It lays bare the real-world consequences of failure to invest in education on individual school budgets, and the effect that this could have on the educational experiences of their children. This is not information the government can ignore. They must listen to the evidence of the damage they are doing to education and take urgent action to increase education funding ahead of the next Budget update.”
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: "We will soon hear from Jeremy Hunt on how he plans to take Britain through the cost-of-living crisis, the energy crisis, and the mess left by his predecessor. We ask the Chancellor, the Prime Minister and their colleagues in government to take a fresh look at the education sector which has been harmed over many years and by successive Conservative-led governments. We demand proper school funding which at least keeps pace with inflation, which returns funding to at least 2010 levels and which allows teachers and support staff to have fully funded pay rises which at least keep pace with inflation. This would avoid cuts to support staff, increased class sizes, and cuts to subject choice that are inevitable on the current direction. It would mean schools not falling even further into disrepair. Schools have been on their knees for too long and cannot weather yet another age of austerity. The Government must change course on education funding and invest in our futures."
John Jolly, CEO of education charity Parentkind, said: “At Parentkind, we regularly poll parents, so that their views can be at the centre of changes to the education system. Our 2021 Parent Voice report found that 55% of parents feel that the increased pressures on school budgets are negatively impacting the education received by their child – this is up over 10% since 2019. Parents want well-funded, high quality schools for their kids, where their education and emotional development is properly supported. These cuts to school funding put a well-functioning education system at risk. What’s more, the worry they cause isn’t evenly spread. While 55% overall said that budget cuts were a problem, 62% of BAME parents perceive a negative impact and a worrying 76% of parents of a child with special educational needs or disabilities worry about the impact of budget cuts on their child’s education. These real-terms cuts will mean that school leaders and teachers will face the next school year trying to do more with less, at the same time as sky-rocketing inflation. It’s time for sensible economics in education, where quick savings aren’t put before the long-term success of future generations.”
Quote of support for the work of the School Cuts website from Emma Knights, Chief Executive of the National Governance Association: "School funding including that for SEND has reached crisis proportions: the money allocated to education is simply not enough to cover rising costs.  The problems have reached such a scale that it is helpful that parents and indeed MPs can see from the School Cuts website the effect on their own school and the difficulties governing boards are facing when attempting to balance their budgets and protect the educational offer.  This situation cannot continue. The Prime Minister needs to back up his commitment to education by finding the resources to ensure our schools can continue to educate children well."