The 2019 Budget: an overview for schools

The 2019 Budget: an overview for schools

In October, the 2018 Autumn Budget was announced by Philip Hammond who presented a budget that he stated was to “pave the way for a brighter future.”

What was said about education?

Record amounts were invested into schools by Philip Hammond. He highlighted that 86% of schools are now rated good or outstanding by OFSTED in comparison to 68% in 2010.

Hammond stated: “I recognise that school budgets often do not stretch to that extra bit of kit that would make such a difference. So today I am announcing a £400million in-year bonus to help our schools buy the little extras they need… a one off payment directly to schools… averaging £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per Secondary School.”

There was also £1.7million set aside for educational programmes in schools to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camps.

Whilst the investment to mark the 75th anniversary of the concentration camps has been welcomed, the decision to invest £400m for little extras has been met with significant backlash.

The most controversial area of the announcement is that schools receiving the funding are restricted as to what they are able to spend it on. The money must be used for little extras. This prevents schools using this money as core funding, for example staff salaries. Many schools are unhappy with this as they contend that they require money for issues such as building works that this investment cannot be directed towards.

Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, commented “Many schools don’t have enough money to provide a full curriculum or individual support to pupils, let alone provide ‘little extras’”.

On the other hand, this investment could help to prevent core funding being diverted and used to cover these little extras which, in turn, may help schools to stretch their budget slightly further – whether this is the case will become apparent once the bonus starts being allocated to schools.

What will this mean for schools?

It is estimated that this will give the average pay-out of £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school. There is no evidence that the pay-outs to schools will vary depending on the financial needs of the school.

The schools can spend the money on equipment and maintenance, for example whiteboards, computers and sports equipment.

Philip Hammond has been keen to clarify that the predominant budget for schools funding will be determined in the next Spending Review in 2019. Therefore, schools will need to wait until then to see the extent of funding that they will receive for 2019.

For more information please contact our Education team.