While last week’s Autumn Statement brought significant tax-raising measures and spending cuts, the story was different for schools (including academy trusts). The Government announced that it would increase the core schools budget by £2.3 billion in 2023/24 and a further £2.3 billion in 2024/25.
Real-terms school funding has been dropping for years, leading to schools struggling to afford to pay their staff and dipping into their reserves to perform repairs. Record pay rises for both teaching and support staff, extra expenditure caused by the pandemic and rapid price inflation have combined to create a challenging situation for the education sector.
The Core Schools Budget Uplift will support both local authority and Academy schools for academic years 2023/24 onwards. According to the Government, ‘this restores 2010 levels of per pupil funding in real terms and provides an average cash increase for every pupil of more than £1,000 by 2024/25, compared to 2021/22.’
The increased funding is undoubtedly a good thing for the sector. However, the Energy Bill Relief Scheme that schools have been benefitting from is set to end in March 2023, so the new money will need to cover this. In addition, this extra funding is likely to affect only the General Annual Grant (GAG) paid to all schools and there are likely to be only minor rises to monies in specialist areas like special educational needs and post-16 provision. Capital funding is increasing to £7 billion in 2023/24 but dropping to £6.1 billion in 2024/25, lower than the £6.3 billion pledged in 2022/23.
For more information about how our charity and not-for-profit specialists can help schools, academies and other organisations in the education sector, please get in touch with your usual BKL contact or use our enquiry form.
Our Autumn Statement 2022 coverage also includes: