£4.6 billion extra for schools over the next two years

The Autumn Statement delivered by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt included a rise to the core schools budget in England of an additional £2.3 billion in each of 2023-24 and 2024-25, which it says will enable schools to continue to invest in high quality teaching and to target additional support to the children who need it most.

The Statement says that after adjusting Spending Review 2021 budgets down to account for the removal of the compensation for
employer costs of the Health and Social Care Levy, this brings the core schools budget to a total of £58.8 billion in 2024-25, £2 billion greater than published at Spending Review 2021.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “After so many years of campaigning I am pleased to see that this Chancellor agrees with us when he says that education is key to growth. The work schools do to support and educate children and young people is vital for our country’s future.

“We hope that the additional money announced today will help bring schools back from the cliff edge that they have been teetering on. The devil is always in the detail of these things but the headline announcement is welcome.

“That said, this doesn’t mean schools are completely off the hook. The truly dire cuts we have been warning about will hopefully no longer have to be made, but there are a myriad of pressures still facing schools that will need consideration very soon. Inflationary pressures are still predicted to rise, with support for energy bills only guaranteed until April. The demand for support for special educational needs is huge and core school funding isn’t enough to solve it. And we still have a serious recruitment and retention crisis which this does not solve – this doesn’t go far enough to restore teachers’ and school leaders’ pay after a decade of erosion.

“None-the-less, this brings some relief for schools. We acknowledge that the Statement has recognised the incredibly important work that the education sector does. We now await the full detail behind the announcements – it is crucial that this money is given to schools to spend as they know is most needed.”

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