Spending on schools up to 2020

Published: 24th Feb 2017

In brief

Claim

Spending on schools is being cut by 8%.

Conclusion

The cash amount going to schools in England is rising and ahead of inflation, but spending per pupil is set to fall by 8% between 2014 and 2020, taking school-specific inflation into account.

 

There’s a record level of investment going into schools.

 

We’ve asked the government for the source of this. The cash amount going to schools in England is rising and ahead of inflation, but spending per pupil is set to fall in real terms, by 8% between 2014 and 2020, taking school-specific inflation into account.

Claim 1 of 2

“[Schools are] looking at facing an 8% cut”

Angela Rayner MP, 23 February 2017

“There’s record investment going into our schools.”

Justine Greening, 23 February 2017

School spending per pupil in England is likely to fall by around 8%, taking school-specific inflation into account, between 2014/15 and 2019/20. That’s according to both the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the National Audit Office.

You can look at the budget in a number of ways. As we’ve discussed before, you can look at the actual cash that’s being spent on schools, the value of that cash after taking inflation into account, and how it divides down per pupil. Prices and pupil numbers are both rising, so these both create pressures on the funding that’s needed.

The schools budget is set to rise in cash terms from about £40 billion in 2015/16 to nearly £43 billion in 2019/20, a record level. That’s also a rise when you take expected inflation into account.

But once you factor in rising pupil numbers as well, the budget per pupil is set to fall.

As the Institute for Fiscal Studies points out, “this will be the first time since the mid-1990s that school spending has fallen in real terms”.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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