The government have told us that, should they win the next election, they will keep education spending at the same level. On the face of it, this sounds good. However when you look into more detail a much more worrying approach to education spending is revealed:
- They are very clear that funding will stay at the SAME level, i.e. it will NOT increase with inflation
- It does NOT factor in the 1% pay rise awarded to staff
- It does NOT factor in the increase in pension and National Insurance contributions
- It does NOT factor in the general increase in daily costs (energy rises, inflation etc.)
- It does NOT factor in the fact that virtually every subject is having to adopt radically different curricula over the next couple of years (at the insistence of the government) which will require CPD and resourcing, yet, even though the government are pushing the use of high quality textbooks, there is no extra money for the new resources and textbooks that will be required to effectively teach the new curricula.
- For academies (which the government would like all schools to become eventually) it does not include anything to cover the reduction in the education services grant.
- It does not factor in the massive cut in budgets 6th form schools have had to manage because of cuts to post 16 funding.
Effectively the government are expecting all schools to do a hell of a lot more and pay for a lot more from the same pot of money. It isn’t surprising therefore that headteachers in over half our schools are saying that they will have to make teaching staff redundant.
Their long-term aim is very clear from the department for Education’s own Fairer Schools Funding document when it explains its rationale for per-pupil funding
“…funding per pupil cannot drop by more than 1.5% per year”
In other words, despite their shallow words that funding will be protected, funding per pupil could actually DROP by UP TO 1.5% per year. In fact over the 5 years of the coalition government, there has actually been a 3.5% CUT in education spending (2010-11 to 2014-15) which is the largest cut over a similar time period since the 1950s.
Whilst researching this piece, I came across another rather worrying statistics – one that the really does highlight the growing gap between London and Yorkshire and the need for more decision making ABOUT Yorkshire to be taken IN Yorkshire.
The two images below show the spending per pupil for each London authority and each Yorkshire authority with average figures at the bottom.
Effectively pupils in London receive, on average, £5573 per year to fund their education. In Yorkshire our pupils only receive £4532. Effectively, according to the government, our pupils in Yorkshire are over £1000 ‘less valuable’ EACH than the pupils in London.
This is basic funding, not including pupil premium etc. Even accounting for the extra expense of living in London, this is a ridiculous level of London-bias. The sooner we wake up to the idea that Westminster looks after London first and the rest of us second, third, fourth, the sooner we can tackle the unfairness in our centralised society. We can begin waking up on Thursday May 7th by voting for Yorkshire First where there is a candidate, and where there is not, ensure you question your candidates about their approach to addressing the London-centric system that allows such unfairness.
This data is taken from the larger data set which shows funding levels for each authority in London. You can download an excel spreadsheet for this below.
London boroughs hold the top 10 positions!