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Schools: Cost Effectiveness

Question for Department for Education

UIN 120537, tabled on 20 December 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of areas in which savings could be made in the school system to increase expenditure on teaching.

Answered on

8 January 2018

In July, we announced that we will be investing an additional £1.3 billion in core schools and high needs funding across 2018-19 and 2019-20, in addition to the schools budget as set out in the 2015 Spending Review. This additional investment in core schools funding will be funded in full from efficiencies and savings from within the Department's budget, as we believe strongly that this funding is most valuable in the hands of head teachers and principals. We have already announced savings of £700 million from our capital budgets, primarily from delivering the free schools programme more efficiently and scaling back the Healthy Pupils Capital programme to reflect reductions in forecast revenue from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. We are in the process of identifying the remaining savings.

There is scope for schools to improve their levels of efficiency, and to find savings on their non-staff expenditure which can be reinvested into frontline teaching. Our analysis indicates that if the 25% of schools spending the highest amounts on each category of non-staff expenditure were instead spending at the level of the rest, this could save over £1 billion. The Department will continue work to deliver the initiatives set out in the Schools’ Buying Strategy (published in January 2017), to help schools deliver the best value for money from their non-staff expenditure and secure these savings.