Department of Education responds to figures released today which show education funding faces biggest spending reduction since the 1950s:
"The government had to take tough decisions to reduce the deficit, but the schools budget is actually increasing by £3.6 billion in cash over the next four years. This protects per pupil funding levels and includes the new Pupil Premium, which provides an extra £488 for every child on Free School Meals and which will rise over the next 3 years. On top of this, we’ve increased the free entitlement to 15 hours per week for all three and four year olds from last September – and are now extending it all disadvantaged two-year olds. The two year freeze on teachers’ pay also means schools are benefitting from a lower level of inflation.
"The new capital budget is higher than the average annual capital budget between 1997-98 to 2004-05. But the government was absolutely right to look at the amount of money spent on school buildings. An independent review showed that tax-payers money was being wasted on red-tape and consultants, not on building schools. Our new plans will build schools cheaper and quicker than before."