What education gets in the Spending Review

09 Oct 2007

Some extra money - but rate of growth still slower than in the past.

 The presentation of the Spending Review is always accompanied by smoke and mirrors. You have to go to the Treasury background papers to get the full picture, comparing like with like. 

 Remember that Gordon Brown had already announced the bulk of education's share of the Comprehensive Spending Review back in March during the Budget.

 So it is only the extra beyond the figures announced then that is genuinely new today. 

On this basis, the extra money announced by the Chancellor today is an extra £1 billion for the Department of Children Schools and Families by 2010-11 (this is England only).

 This takes the new planned spending levels by 2010-11 from £74 billion (as announced in the Budget) to £75 billion. 
For education as a whole across the UK (that is including the other education department for Innovation, Universities and Skills)  the increase over and above the Budget is £2 billion: up from £90 bn to £92 bn by 2010-11.
As a percentage of the UK's GDP, UK education spending will rise to 5.6% by 2010-11. 

 The Chancellor compared this to 4.7% in 1996/7. But we have already had most of this increase and current spending is already at 5.5% of GDP.

In summary, there is some real extra money for  education, allowing Mr Darling to say he was spending money on schools and the NHS instead of giving it away through Inheritance Tax. But the rate of growth of eduction spending over the next few years - while a little higher than announced in the Budget - will be much slower than over the past few years.

From 1999 to 2008 education spending will have grown by 5.5% per year in real terms.  Future growth however will be slower at 2.8% in England. 


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