Published Tuesday 6th August 2019
With Boris Johnson announced as the UK’s new Prime Minister at the end of July, many are wondering what changes are in store for domestic policy. Even before he won the Conservative Leadership Contest, Mr Johnson had made a string of promises across a range of sectors. A massive reshuffle of the Cabinet soon followed his victory, which has left many expecting widespread changes to domestic policy.
One area that will be hoping for change is the education sector. Struggling with cuts and a lack of funds for many years, the new Prime Minister was quick to promise increased capital. However, will the new Government be able to deliver on these promises, and what does it mean for the long-term future of UK education?
A Lack of Capital for Education Institutions
UK schools suffering a continued lack of funding has been the theme for much of the sector over the last few years. Periodic spending reductions have seen school funding in real terms decrease by around 8% since 2009-10. Reports about schools not having the money needed for essential equipment have been commonplace, whilst the issue is often worse for SEND institutions.
As a result of these deteriorating funds, teachers from across the UK have been publicly protesting in large numbers. These demonstrations are still going on, with marches in London taking place as Boris Johnson was announced as Prime Minister and still planned for the future. Education funding is one of the biggest domestic concerns past Brexit, and the pressure will be on the struggling Conservative Government to prove they can reverse the monetary trend.
Boris Johnson’s Pledges to UK Education
As soon as he rose to the position of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced a string of domestic measures he would like to see improved. Many are wondering what the new PM means for business, but one of the cornerstones of his domestic “levelling-up” appears to be an increase in school funding. However, the exact form this will take is yet to be confirmed.
Initially, Boris Johnson announced a plan to increase per-pupil funding to at least £5,000 per year. Whilst this appeared to please Conservative MPs, it was calculated that the total extra spending – around £50m – would be small compared to the amount some believe is required.
However, his subsequent statements landed on the other side of the spectrum, as he committed to reversing cuts to 2015 levels. This kind of project would cost anything up to around £5bn. With a no-deal Brexit becoming an increasingly strong possibility, many are wondering how he will manage to fund and deliver this kind of promise long-term.
Regardless of commitments, there is a growing belief that education has climbed the priority list over the last twelve months. Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders union NAHT, noted that “this is the first time the government has officially recognised what school leaders have been saying for years,” referring to a need for increased funds. Political analysts believe that the Conservative Government is eager to win back young voters and sees education as a critical driver. Whilst the exact nature and timescale of such spending remains uncertain, it is fair to believe that funding for UK schools will improve over the next few years to some degree. Whether that will be enough remains to be seen.
Unlocking Capital for UK Schools
The reality, however, is that many educational institutions across the country are facing serious short-term funding concerns. Whilst financial support is needed, there are things that UK schools can be doing now to help secure their operations going forward.
Here at Expense Reduction Analysts, we’ve worked with many UK education businesses to help them streamline their supply chains and unlock much-needed capital. Our school cost reduction services are designed with the unique needs of the education sector in mind. We only charge for our services once savings have been made, and then we only take payment from the money that would have been spent previously. Our sector specialists can save your institution money in a range of cost areas, so why not get in contact today and see what we could do for you?