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Nearly half of schools in England report in-year deficit in new cost-of-living survey

New research by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has found almost half of primary schools and special schools (at 49 and 48 per cent) and two-fifths of secondary schools (at 41 per cent) in England had or were expecting an in-year deficit in 2022/23.

Findings from NFER’s Cost-of-living crisis: Impact on schools report, also suggest more than half of primary schools are asking parents for extra funds to accommodate cost-of-living pressures.

Almost half of school leaders reported that the cuts their schools are making due to the cost-of-living pressures are having a negative impact on teaching and learning in their setting. Further, the cuts which schools are making in response to cost-of-living pressures are also affecting provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), with widespread concern among senior leaders of all phases about their ability to fully meet the needs of their pupils.

NFER Research Director and report co-author, Jenna Julius, said “In the short-term, schools need greater financial support to help meet the additional direct expenses associated with the increased cost-of-living such as energy and school meal bills.

“Teachers and senior leaders, particularly in the most disadvantaged schools, report their learning provision has been negatively impacted by cuts being made in response to increased costs. For example, 62 per cent of primary schools, 43 per cent of secondary and 41 per cent of special schools report cutting spending on resources such as printed worksheets, materials for art and science and library books.”

Read the full report here

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Published on 13th September 2023