In its 2021 report
, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) highlights the inconsistency of early years entitlement spending over the previous decade. Increases in cash terms during the period have been followed by cash freezes, which have resulted in real-terms cuts. For example, in 2020/21 additional funding raised hourly rates to £5.71 from £5.44, but this was below the 2017 rate of £5.89 in real terms.
In ASCL’s Blueprint for a Fairer Education System
we call for the development of the national distribution formulae into a clear, consistent approach to 0-19 funding, based on a detailed analysis of what every child and young person needs to succeed. This should align with the core curriculum at all ages. It needs to be both sufficient overall and appropriately distributed. It should include a refocusing of the current approach to ‘levelling up’ so that proxy factors are agile and quickly reflect changes in need.
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