Department for Education’s budget revealed

Chancellor publishes results of the spending review

The Spending Review and Autumn Statement delivers on the government’s priority to provide security to working people at every stage of their lives. It sets out a 4-year plan to fix the public finances, return the country to surplus and run a healthy economy that starts to pay down the debt. By ensuring Britain’s long-term economic security, the government is able to spend £4 trillion on its priorities over the next 4 years.

For the Department for Education this means:

Doubling free childcare from 15 hours to 30 hours a week for working families of 3- and 4-year-olds, worth up to £5,000 per child per year from September 2017, and investing over £1 billion more a year by 2019 to 2020 on free childcare places for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds.

Protecting the schools budget in real terms, enabling a per pupil protection for the dedicated schools grant and the pupil premium.

Making around £600 million savings from the education services grant (ESG) and supporting schools to realise efficiencies.

£23 billion capital investment over the Parliament to open 500 free schools, provide over 600,000 additional school places, rebuild and refurbish over 500 schools and address essential maintenance needs.

Funding for universal infant free school meals will be maintained, supporting healthy eating and saving families around £400 for every infant each year.

The government will protect the department’s central children’s services budget at over £300 million per year to help drive up social care workforce standards to improve support for vulnerable children.

The government will introduce the first ever national funding formula for schools, high needs and early years. This will end the unfair system where a child from a disadvantaged background in one school attracts half as much funding as a child in identical circumstances in another school, simply because of where they live. There will be a transitional phase to help smooth the implementation of the new schools formula. The government will launch a detailed consultation in 2016 and will implement the new formulae from 2017 to 2018.

Pie Corbett