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Rising Costs: Support for Schools

Volume 721: debated on Monday 24 October 2022

The Government are committed to supporting schools. That is why we are investing significantly in education, with a £4 billion increase in the core schools budget this financial year, which will help schools facing the challenges of inflation brought about by global events.

Schools across my constituency face extraordinary financial pressures, particularly in special educational needs settings where costs per pupil are higher, and in older schools where the Government’s failure to invest in the schools estate means higher costs for heating and repairs. With inflation running out of control, which is an effective 10% cut in real terms to this year’s budgets, senior management teams are desperately worried that they will not be able to balance the books, especially with higher demand for things such as breakfast clubs as parents feel the pinch. Can the Secretary of State please inform us what representations he has made to the Treasury to address the crisis in education funding?

Notwithstanding the significant increase in the schools budget last year, we are monitoring the impact of those global inflationary forces on schools across the whole country. We are in constant conversation with leadership, unions and headteachers about their finances. Perhaps the hon. Lady does not know this, but we acted immediately when it became clear that schools would be severely impacted by the rise in energy costs, to ensure that they were included in the energy bill relief scheme. We continue to have dynamic conversations with Treasury colleagues on the importance of school funding.