Annal Nayyar- Article suggests The schools spending ringfence should be removed, to ease up the pressure on other departments.

The schools spending ringfence should be removed, to ease up the pressure on other departments. And there’s evidence that educational standards need not suffer

In five weeks’ time the government will announce its spending plans for the remainder of this Parliament. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that, due to the current squeeze, average departmental spending will fall by around 18 per cent between 2010-11 and 2017-18in real terms. However, spending on schools has so far been protected from any such reductions. That can and should end now. Over the past decade spending per pupil has risen by 86 per cent in real terms and has been protected in the current Parliament. For comparison, services such as policing and justice have seen budgets fall by 25 per cent in real terms in the 2010 Parliament alone. They expect further cuts in the 2015 Parliament. Worryingly, that increase in school spending has occurred as pupil numbers have fallen by 5 per cent. The future is less rosy with the number of English primary and
secondary school children projected to rise from 7 million to 8 million between 2012 and 2020.

Taken together, those trends spell problems for the UK’s schools. From a golden period of increasing funding and decreasing pupil numbers in the 2000s they will need to adapt to a situation of rising demand and falling funding. The ring fence has given the education system a brief reprieve and time for consolidation; however, it is clearly unsustainable when some other departments have already suffered budget cuts of 25 per cent. The question now is how schools adapt

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