School funding warning as pupils return to class in England

Education: Secondary / Thu 2nd Sep 2021 at 08:01am

DAILY spending on schools in England will be lower by 2022-23 than it was in 2009, according to a report published as pupils are returning to class reports the BBC.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) says that by next September, available funds will be down 1-2% on 12 years ago, despite £7bn from the government.

It comes as schools are working hard to help pupils catch up learning lost to the past 18 months of Covid disruption.

The government has said it is expanding its £1bn tutoring catch-up scheme.

And as youngsters across England return to school for pre-term Covid testing, schools will be able to access funds to use a national tutoring scheme or use their own teachers to offer pupils support.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said he expected a greater sense of normality in schools this term thanks to vaccination programme.

“That extra protection helps us find that sensible balance between protecting staff and students and ensuring education is not disrupted,” he said.

“Keeping children in the classroom helps them catch up. 

“It has given pupils real, hands-on help to support them following the disruption caused by the pandemic and we want to build on that success. So I’m delighted to be further expanding the National Tutoring Programme,” he added.

Despite plans for regular Covid testing of staff and pupils. there are concerns among head teachers, school staff and scientists about high rates of virus in a largely unvaccinated population.

Scientists have warned that the increased mixing related to reopening schools, combined with reduced health and safety rules, could lead to a rapid raise in cases throughout September.

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