What does the budget mean for schools?
According to The Institute for Fiscal Studies, spending per pupil in UK schools is to fall by around 6.5% by 2019/2020. This is the first real-term cut in spending since the mid-1990s and is set to have a significant impact on pupils across the county. However, other repercussions from the Chancellor’s recent budget could be felt much sooner. So exactly what changes are on the horizon and how could they affect you, your children and your school?
Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly stated that she wants to bring back grammar schools. In the recent budget, an extra £320 million was allocated to state-funded free schools. It’s thought that the Government plans to turn these free schools into grammar schools if and when it’s able to overturn Labour’s 1998 ban on grammars. Though not everyone is in favour of the idea, the current government seems determined to bring them back.
If you’re a parent, pupil or teacher, you’ll know that a lot of the schools in the UK are a little rundown. Walls need painting, equipment needs replacing and repairs need to be made. Luckily, Chancellor Philip Hammond has allocated a further £216 million for the refurbishment of existing school buildings. This will help to ensure all pupils have somewhere bright, clean and safe to learn.
Last year in the UK, almost 500,000 jobs couldn’t be filled because of a shortage of technically trained staff. To help ease the shortage and provide the UK’s workforce with the skills it needs, the Government announced a £500 million boost for technical education. The money will be used to fund the new “T” Level programme. This will bring technical qualifications in line with academic “A” Levels. From 2019/2020, students will be able to choose from 15 career-based technical routes. These will involve more tuition time and quality work placements than today’s vocational courses.
This should encourage 16-19-year olds into technical careers, and give them the skills and knowhow employers are looking for. However, with a few years to go before the funding kicks in, it will be a while until the UK skills shortage is filled for good.
Though some head teachers and education experts have said they’d prefer more money for existing schools and less spent on opening free schools, in our view, any boost to education funding has to be a good thing.
Have a look through our site to find out how to enhance learning in your school, or contact a member of our team today.