Myth Busting: School Funding

Myth 1: The Government cutting school funding

  • No. We are putting more money into our schools than ever before.
  • School funding will rise from just under £41 billion this year to £43.5 billion in 2019-20. Our new funding formula provides a cash increase for every school in every local authority.
  • We’re protecting funding for those with additional needs, investing nearly £2.5 billion this year to give disadvantaged children extra support and spending £5.8 billion to create even more good school places.

Myth 2: The Government cutting school funding in real terms

  • No. We’ve protected the core schools budget in real terms since 2010, and as confirmed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, our additional £1.3 billion investment means we are maintaining per pupil funding in real terms to 2020.
  • We invest more in our schools, per pupil, than either Germany or Japan, and real terms school spending per pupil in 2019–20 will be more than 50 per cent higher than it was in 2000–01.
  • The data used by the union-backed School Cuts campaign is fundamentally misleading and does not account for rising pupil numbers. Because the vast majority of schools’ funding is allocated on a per pupil basis, an increase in pupil numbers will bring more money into schools. In 2018-19 our funding formula will provide local authorities with, as a minimum, a 0.5 per cent per pupil increase for every school, and in 2019-20, an increase of at least 1 per cent. Historically underfunded schools will see their funding rise by considerably more than this.

Myth 3: The Government taking free school meals away from disadvantaged children

  • No. Both the IFS and Channel 4 Fact Check have confirmed that no child who currently receives a free school meals will lose their entitlement once the rollout of Universal Credit is complete. As such, any claims about children losing out are inaccurate – and causing families unnecessary distress.
  • In fact, around 50,000 more children will become eligible for Free School Meals.  
  • And the Institute of Fiscal Studies’ independent research shows that the main beneficiaries of our changes will be children in lone parent families.

Myth 4: There is a teacher recruitment crisis

  • No. There are 15,500 more teachers in our schools than in 2010, and our teachers are more qualified than ever.  Over 27,000 people started a postgraduate teacher training course in England this year.
  • But we know that in some areas schools face recruitment challenges, which is why we are taking action to attract even more of the brightest and the best to the profession.
  • The Education Secretary has been clear that there are no great schools without great teachers and has pledged to strip away unnecessary workload and give teachers the time to focus on what actually matters. On top of this we’re strengthening qualified teacher status, improving opportunities for career progression and will deliver stronger mentoring provision for new teachers in those vital early stages of their career.

Myth 5: The Government doesn’t care about children studying arts subjects

  • No. We introduced the English Baccalaureate to help more children establish a solid academic foundation. It ensures children study the core subjects – such as English, Maths and the Sciences – whilst leaving space in the curriculum to pursue other interests like the arts. There is no evidence that entries in arts subjects have declined as a result of the introduction of the English Baccalaureate.   
  • We are determined that high-quality arts education must not be the preserve of the elite, but the entitlement of every child, which is  why we’re investing almost £500 million in arts and cultural education programmes over 2016-20.