Statistical reports

Institute for Fiscal Studies

Published: 25 October 2011

This report which received substantial media coverage concludes that:

“Following the historically large increases in education spending over the 2000s, large cuts to education spending are now planned for the period covered by the 2010 Spending Review. By 2014–15, education spending is expected to fall to its lowest level since the mid-1990s. However, the cuts planned to the DfE’s budget are similar to the average planned across government as a whole.

However, the cuts will not be shared equally across all areas of education spending. The resource budget for schools has been relatively protected. The most substantial cuts will be made to higher education and schools capital spending, followed by planned cuts to 16–19 education spending and to early years and youth services spending.”

Issues of the effects of VAT and the Pupil Premium are also discussed which show that behind the headlines the picture is more complex and the effects of Government spending plans will not be uniform.

“The resource budget for schools has been relatively protected: it will see smaller cuts in 2011–12 and throughout the Spending Review period than other areas of education spending. The most substantial cuts are due to be made to higher education and schools capital spending, followed by planned cuts to spending on 16–19 education and to early years and youth services spending.”

The report does concentrate on how much is spent, this emphasis on inputs/outputs rather than where money most effectively be spent to produce better outcomes is a potential weakness of this report, like many other reports which grab the headlines, though the authors do make a partial reference to this:

“This Briefing Note has not examined the implications of these changes in funding for educational outcomes, but it is unlikely that no impact will be felt. Even if there are offsetting improvements in the productivity of the inputs into education, such improvements could well have taken place in the absence of cuts to those inputs.”

The report also talks about the UK but many statistics quoted are from the DFE covering England only and although this is acknowledged at points, it is worth remembering that education is devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where diferent policies often apply.

Further information

You might also like to look at the DFE school funding announcement 2011-12 which is the base for much of this report.

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