The campaign to Stop School Cuts

Mainstream schools face a sharp squeeze in their spending power in 2024-25.  We expect mainstream schools’ costs to exceed the increase in school funding by 3.1 per cent, which is equivalent to £1.4bn. As a consequence, 18,484 (92%) mainstream schools will be unable to cope with cost increases without cutting education provision.

Both primary and secondary schools face a financial squeeze in 2024-25 (Figure 1) but secondary schools are generally in a more difficult position. 99 per cent of secondary schools and 91 per cent of primary schools face a cut in real-terms per pupil funding. As a result, schools will have to reduce their educational provision for example by increasing class sizes or reducing individual pupil support.

Figure 1


As can be seen from the chart above the severity of the cuts varies significantly school by school. Hardest hit schools are spread fairly evenly across regions with London having a slightly greater proportion of the most hard-hit schools (Figure 2).

Figure 2

There is greater variation by local authority. Generally inner-city areas are hit worst. Some of the most severely impacted areas will be – Tower Hamlets, Newham, Haringey and Brent in London; Liverpool; the West Midlands conurbation; Hull; and Blackburn.

Figure 3

There is no clear pattern to which schools will experience the deepest cuts when grouped by parliamentary constituency. Neighbouring constituencies with similar socio-economic characteristics can have vastly differing outcomes.

Figure 4

There is some correlation between the size of the real-terms per pupil cuts and the level of pupil deprivation (Figure 5). Primary schools with the least deprivation have the largest real-terms per pupil cuts, 3.2 per cent, compared with a 2.7 per cent cut for the schools with the most pupil poverty. This pattern is reversed for secondary schools; those secondary schools with the highest levels of pupil deprivation will also experience the largest cuts.  While this pattern is concerning, it still does not explain the extent of variation in cuts between schools, so even within deprivation groups, some schools may be impacted much more than others (Figure 1).

Figure 5

Schools must be protected from further financial pressure. Currently Britain spends just 3.9 per cent of national income on education. This is the lowest proportion for more than twenty years and compares poorly with other developed nations, the OECD average is 5 per cent. England’s schools have the largest primary class sizes in Europe and secondary class sizes are the highest since records began more than forty years ago.

Please email your MP to ask them to call on the Chancellor to invest £1.7bn in schools in 2024.