Cuts to School Budgets

Cuts to School Budgets
March 1, 2017
Marilyn Brydges

At Notebook Tutors we were concerned to read about a recent report on school budgets from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which has been widely reported in the press. The report can be found by clicking here. It notes that spending on education increased significantly from the 1990s to 2010-11, before falling by 14% in real terms between 2011 and 2015-16. However, most of that fall in funding was not experienced by primary and secondary schools directly, instead impacting other areas such as non-compulsory higher education and education from ages 16 to 18.

This is now set to change. The report states that ‘spending per pupil is expected to fall by 6.5% in real terms between 2015-16 and 2019-20’. This is specifically in relation to primary and secondary schools (up to 16), rather than any other stage of education.
There have already been reports in the press of schools struggling with their budgets, and headteachers feeling forced to cut a wide variety of non-mandatory subjects or enrichment opportunities. Here at Notebook Tutors we expect that this further real-terms cut in school funding will hit schools even harder, and the consequences may be significant.

A potential outcome from this cut may be an increase in interest in tuition. If parents find that their child’s school cannot provide extra support for a child who is struggling, or conversely if an academically gifted child is not given sufficiently challenging material, those parents may turn to tuition to meet their child’s academic needs. There was a boom in tuition from 2010 onwards, as the pressure of funding began to bite on educational budgets; and we consider that the likelihood is that this will only increase.

We believe that education is every family’s best investment, and hope that these changes do not negatively affect the academic outcomes of our students.