Back to the future economics doesn’t help schools meet rising costs

In an article in Schools Week, Schools Minister Robin Walker confirmed that schools will have to meet the cost of all teacher pay rises over the next three years from their core budgets.

In an article in Schools Week (‘Pay rises will come from school budgets, minister confirms’) Schools Minister Robin Walker confirmed what we feared – that schools will have to meet the cost of all teacher pay rises over the next three years from their core budgets.

But how can schools fund a pay increase for teachers without the funds to do so?!

The Government has proclaimed it is restoring per-pupil funding to 2010 levels over the next three years, but this back to the future economics ignores the fact that in the last decade energy costs have soared, and VAT, pension and National Insurance costs and inflation have all risen, yet schools have to meet these costs out of their budgets.

There is no extra money for pupils and little chance that funding to support SEN in mainstream schools will be found. There is also the expectation on schools to deliver education recovery, and, it seems, to contribute more to repairs.

As analysis by Luke Sibieta, from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, shows, even a one per cent rise for all teachers would cost the sector between £270 million and £280 million a year. But inflation is currently around 2.9 per cent, meaning a real-terms pay rise for all teachers would cost over £800 million.

The Government must do more than “recognise there are pressures” . It must provide the funds to meet them.

Further information

Statement on Autumn Budget 2021


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