Full breakdown and analysis of education cuts

08 Jun 2010

 Although I had asked several times for the full breakdown of the £670 million in cuts from the Department for Education, I was always told they did not have them as they could only be obtained from the Treasury.

I was about to try a Freedom of Information request when, finally, in response to a letter from Ed Balls, the Shadow Education Secretary, the full details were given in a letter from Education Secretary, Michael Gove. 

The full breakdown reveals that the real victims of the cuts have been 14-19 year-olds, particularly those not in employment, education or training (NEETS) whose programmes have been cut severely. Many charities working in this field will find government grants drying up.

On the curriculum and qualifications front,  the government has cut from the budgets of two areas it dislikes: the new diplomas and the planned review of the primary curriculum.

Schools will feel the effects of the cuts, particularly if they are Specialist Schools (which are losing  capital on being redesignated in their specialist status and from the High Performing Specialist School programme).  

A lot of jobs will go amongst staff at education quangos and regional advisers.

Let's hope that when the next round of cuts comes, the government will live up to its word and release the full information more quickly.

The main headings are:

Area Based Grant: £311 million cut

This is money that goes from the DfE to local authorities for the support of education but which, unlike the Dedicated Schools Grant, is not ring-fenced. In other words, councils have flexibility over how they spend this money. It tends to go on things such as school transport and other education support services.

Quangos: £80 million

TDA: £30 million. Includes a reduction in the agency's marketing and communications spending.

National College for Leadership: £16 million. Equals 10% of the annual budget.

School Food Trust: £1 million. Cut in communications budget.

CWDC (Children's Workforce Development Council) : £15 million. Equals 10% of the budget.

QCDA: £8 million. Will eventually be abolished.

Becta: £10 million. Will be abolished.

Communications Budget at DfE: £15 million

£5 million from the department's central communications budget. Although not clear, this would appear to be the money saved from moving Teachers TV off broadcast channels and entirely on to the Internet.  Also from reducing activities like DirectGov Kids, a government website for 5 - 11 year-olds which teaches about citizenship, democracy and government .

£6 million from reducing the 14-19 and Youth Task force communications budgets, used to - for example - explain and raise awareness of things like diplomas.

£4 million in the central children and families communication budget.

14- 19 education: £59.9 million

£2.7 million from ending Activity Agreement and Entry to Learning pilots. Activity Agreement is a programme of activities for 16 & 17 year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEETS). Entry to Learning is a scheme aimed at raising the self-esteem and confidence of  NEETS with the aim of getting them back into education or work. The government says the pilots are no longer needed as 'lessons have been learned from them'.

£7 million from unallocated funding previously earmarked for enterprise education.

£9 million from efficiencies and ending lower priority projects in 14-19 education.

£9 million from savings from lower than expected take-up of diplomas. (Now the budget is cut for marketing and communications, there may be even more savings from lower take-up!)

£13.2 million from scaling back support for delivery of diplomas. It's not clear where this will bite but the government had given money to support movement of students between colleges in rural areas -- essential to the delivery of diplomas. 

£9 million from stopping development of the diplomas. The phase 4 diplomas will not now happen.

£14 million from reducing centrally provided workforce development activity and ending a number of field forces.

£900,000 from ending the role of Regional Advisers from September.

Efficiency savings £171 million:

These cuts include:

£7 million from not proceeding with implementation of changes to the primary curriculum following Sir Jim Rose's review. Schools will now continue with the existing curriculum. Also savings from scaling back initiatives on PSHE, Citizenship and RE.

£2 million from reducing the transitional costs of switching functions from the LSC to the new Young People's Learning Agency.

£1.2 million from scaling back plans for the Framework for Excellence, the performance assessment tool for FE colleges and post-16 training providers.

£8 million from cancelling the last round of grants to the Youth Sector Development Fund.  This was a fund to support charities and Third Sector organisations that support young people (e.g. Kids Club, Somerset Rural Youth Project, West Yorkshire Youth Association).

£3 million from unallocated money earmarked  for youth sector support.

£7 million from not proceeding with new cadre of High Performing Specialist Schools. This was aimed at the top performing 30% of specialists schools to enable them to provide system leadership and to share good practice.

£7 million from central procurement and research budgets.

£47 million from unallocated money left in the One to One tuition budget once all front-line money has been allocated.

£1.5 million from unallocated money for Playing for Success. This is a partnership between the DfE and sports clubs, including premiership football clubs, to support study centres.

£1 million from unallocated, non front-line money for Gifted & Talented.

£5 million from efficiencies from Every Child A Reader and lower than expected take-up from Every Child A Writer.

£8 million from City Challenge.

£2 million from scaling back some school improvement targets

£10 million from underspend from lower take-up on Free Childcare for Training and Learning for Work.

£10 million from efficiencies from improved EMA administration.

Capital savings £33 million

£25 million from Extended Schools capital. This is based on fact  that 98% of schools now  have extended services.

£8 million from ending capital grant for schools that are re-designated as specialist school status.

User Comments

Heather Stack - 08 Jun 2010

Education Spending Cuts

Much necessary revision has been done to the profligate spending of the last government. Despite my involvement with NEETs and Connexions, amongst others, I wholeheartedly agree there has to be some savings, particularly from rampant spending plans of the past that have devastated our economy.

Let us not forget that in commenting on cuts to NEETs - 14 - 19 (as your comment above) 14 - 16 year olds are clearly not NEETs as they are in full-time education.

Given the vast industry that has built up around the NEET problem, it is timely that there are revisions to how spending is being used. It is not about 'warehousing' young people in costly schemes that derive no real benefit, but about real solutions that make long-term differences to life chances.

Such inaccuracies in your commentary about NEETS are needless and inflammatory.

With regard to savings in One to One Tuition costs - this is much needed as the cost of this hastily rushed in, poorly planned and executed 'booster scheme' to massage league table results has been staggering.

Let us hope we can move forward with a more judicious use of public money and a more responsible attitude towards spending.

This round of spending cuts it not about loss, but about determining who the real beneficiaries are, of this new coalition government's education policies and priorities.

jackie schneider - 08 Jun 2010

free school meals for working poor axed

I am surprised that Gove has cancelled free school meals for the working poor. There were plans to ensure those families who may have low paid jobs but were under official poverty line would be able to claim free school meals. Gove announced in his letter to Balls yesterday that this would now be cut. We can't support some of our poorest families yet the house of commons gets their food subsidised to the tune of £6.1 million a year. Shame.

Hazel Watt - 09 Jun 2010

post 16 participation

Can you explain what is meant by the 'unallocated money within the post 16 participation budget?' £20 million

Rosie Hutchinson - 20 Jun 2010

Education Spending Cuts

In repsonse to Heather's comments, I have worked for Connexions for the last 11 years and have specifically worked on projects that offer targeted support to those young people who are deemed most vulnerable. Most recently I have been working on the Activity Agreement Pilot that in Tyne and Wear has made a massive contribution towards moving these young people into employment, education and training and ensuring that they have the support to stay there. I'm really proud of what I've achieved with the young people I have worked with and it angers me to see people being so dismissive of the work that Connexions and projects like Activity Agreement do. I'll now lose my job on 31st December this year but most importantly, I worry about what will be put in place to ensure that these young people are not consigned to the scrap heap by this government, a patter that history shows us they seem to be fond of. Also, it was not the public sector that got the country into this mess, it was private industry, banking in particular, and I don't see how attacking public services and the vulnerable people they are provided for is the answer.

am - 02 May 2012

Cost cutting

The world is in financial crisis, public sector must be affected as they are wholly funded by the private sector contributions. Please stop bleating on about the injustice to the private sector et al and get on with the job of getting the country back on track. Pretty fed up with the uninformed few thinking that their chosen priorities are the priorities of the nation/Europe.

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