English per pupil funding falls by eight per cent

New figures, released by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), has revealed that total school spending per pupil in England fell by approximately eight per cent in real terms between 2010 and 2018.

The research institute compare this funding fall with a five per cent in Wales over the same period, with the English decline a result of greater fall in spending by local authorities and school sixth form spending alongside faster growth in pupil numbers, which have risen by approximately 10 per cent over the eight-year period. This means that the gap in school spending per pupil between England and Wales virtually eliminated.

The estimated cut of eight per cent between 2009–10 and 2017–18 includes the additional effects of much larger cuts to school sixth form spending per pupil (25 per cent) and local authority spending (55 per cent). Local authority services include spending on home-to-school transport, additional support for pupils with special educational needs and central administration, all of which have been cut.

Luke Sibieta, IFS Research Fellow, said: "School spending per pupil has fallen by more in England than in Wales over the last eight years, virtually eliminating the gap in spending per pupil between the two countries. Policymakers in both England and Wales have chosen to protect spending directly allocated to schools for pupils under 16, and to make much larger cuts to sixth form allocations and to local authority spending. Schools in England have faced the additional pressure of a fast growing pupil population, whilst numbers in Wales have remained roughly constant."

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