Pupil funding still leaves schools worse off than 10 years ago

Government announcement on pupil funding still below pre-austerity levels in real terms

The government announced today that school pupils in England are to receive an increase in central government funding of at least 2% next year, but UNISON is concerned that the increase still leaves schools with less than they had a decade ago.

Under the settlement – part of a funding package that had been previously announced – secondary schools will attract a minimum of £5,150 per pupil, up from £5,000 this year, while primary schools will get at least £4,000 per pupil, up from £3,750.

The Department for Education said that the annual increase of £2.2bn would see most local authorities receive rises of at least 3% per pupil. There will be smaller rises for some “historically higher funded” local authorities, while small and remote schools in rural areas will get additional cash.

However, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that the increases will still leave schools with less money in real terms than they had a decade ago.

UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “Government needs to fully reverse the damaging cuts it imposed on school funding over the last 10 years.

“Not only has it failed to do this, but it is even refusing to provide the additional funding needed by schools for increased cleaning required as a result of the COVID pandemic.

“Alongside the other education unions and parent groups, UNISON will continue to campaign for a real terms increase in school funding.”