IFS Briefing Notes (BN121)

Trends in education and schools spending

Date: 25 October 2011
Authors: Haroon Chowdry and Luke Sibieta
DOI: 10.1920/bn.ifs.2011.00121

Until recently, education spending has enjoyed healthy year-on-year increases, but that is set to change. Along with most areas of government spending, education spending is set to shrink over the current Spending Review period. What will be the size of the total cuts and how will they be shared across different areas of education spending? Somewhat surprisingly, the answers to these questions cannot be easily found in current data published by the government.

In this Briefing Note, we produce new estimates of the likely cuts to overall public spending on education in the UK up to 2014-15. We have also pieced together various published plans for grants and specific components of education spending. This provides the most comprehensive analysis of the pattern of cuts across different areas of education spending published to date. We also analyse which types of schools are likely to see the largest increases in funding and which are likely to see real-terms cuts.