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Pupils: Per Capita Costs

Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much was spent on average per pupil in (a) state schools and (b) private schools in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (180787)

The information requested is set out in the following table. As my Department does not collect information for the independent sector, information for independent day school fees are taken from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) Census.

Per pupil funding

Cash (£)



State schools

Independent day schools: average annual day fees—academic year

Revenue and capital funding—financial year

ISC’s old methodology

ISC’s new methodology


















1. Independent school figures taken from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) Census.

2. ISC figures are on an academic year basis while state school funding is on a financial year basis.

3. In 2006-07, the ISC introduced a new methodology for calculating average fees. Both are shown.

4. Figures rounded to nearest £50.

As set out in Budget 2006, it is the Government’s aim, over time and adjusting for inflation, to increase levels of maintained school funding to average private sector day school levels in that year, 2005-06. Our private sector target is an estimated £8,000 per pupil in independent day schools in 2005-06 compared with total revenue and capital funding per pupil in the maintained sector of £4,750. We have so far increased maintained sector funding to £5,550 per pupil this year, which is £5,300 in real terms at 2005-06 prices.

As a result of the comprehensive spending review settlement for education, total per pupil revenue and capital funding will rise to £6,600 in 2010-11, or £5,750 per pupil in real terms at 2005-06 prices. This means that between 2005-06 and the end of the CSR period we will have raised maintained sector funding by £1,000 per pupil in real terms, equivalent to closing the gap with the private sector target by 30 per cent.

Progress over future spending reviews will depend on the Government’s fiscal position; demographic change; and progress by schools in continuing to deliver improvements in results and wider support for parents and pupils.

Budget 2006 also announced a separate commitment to close the gap between the state sector and private sector levels of per pupil capital investment. The schools capital settlement for 2008-11 fully closes this gap by providing for maintained sector capital investment to rise to £1,110 per pupil by 2010-11 which is in line with 2005-06 private sector levels, adjusted for inflation.