By Joshua Robinson –
Research by finance specialists, RIFT, has revealed that no less than 14 areas of England have seen a reduction in school budgets when it comes to the Individual Schools Budget (after academy recoupment) and expenditure per pupil, as well as revealing which areas rank top for prospective parents when it comes to funding.
RIFT analysed government data on local authority net expenditure on schools to find where is home to the highest cost of schooling across the nation.
The research shows that across England, a total of £28.7bn was spent on schooling in the last year (2021-22 latest available) – a 5% increase versus the previous year and 8% more when compared to pre-pandemic spending (2019-20).
Yorkshire and the Humber saw a 6% increase on per pupil net expenditure, taking the amount to £5,370 per pupil.
Kirklees had a per pupil net expenditure of £5,190, making an annual change of 4%.
School spend per pupil nationally
When considering the Individual Schools Budget, after academy recoupment, this equates to an average expenditure of £5,454 per pupil, 6% more than the previous year.
Highest spend by local authority
The local authority to have invested the most per pupil over the last year is Thurrock. Expenditure per pupil sits at £21,999, with the area also having seen the largest increase in a single year, almost doubling at 97%.
Kingston upon Hull (£15,640), Bromley (£10,644), Darlington (£8,348) and the City of London (£8,219) also rank as some of the local authorities with the highest level of expenditure per pupil for 2021-22.
Largest increase in spend by local authority
Alongside Thurrock, Redcar and Cleveland (+58%), Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (43%), Bath and North East Somerset (+32%) and Bury (+19%) have enjoyed some of the largest increases in net expenditure per pupil.
Lowest spend by local authority
At £3,853, Solihull in the West Midlands is home to the lowest spend per pupil of any local authority, followed by Hartlepool (£4,339), Wokingham (£4,614), Gateshead (£4,813) and North Tyneside (£4,890).
14 local authorities to have reduced spend
Solihull (-14%) and Hartlepool (-11%) are also two of 14 local authorities to have seen the level of expenditure per pupil reduce on an annual basis along with:
- Dorset (-11%)
- Plymouth (-10%)
- North Somerset (-6%)
- Bromley (-4%)
- Rutland (-4%)
- Kingston upon Hull (-3%)
- Knowsley (-2%)
- Kingston upon Thames (-2%)
- North East Lincolnshire (-1%)
- Sutton (-1%)
- Gateshead (-0.5%)
- Slough (-0.3%)
Bradley Post, MD of RIFT, commented: “Schooling is an incredibly important consideration for parents and for many, it can even dictate where we live as we look to secure a home within that all-important catchment area.”
“The good news is that, for the large part, the level of expenditure being invested into students is on the up and in some local authorities this increase has been substantial. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case across the board and expenditure has been cut in some locations, although thankfully they are few and far between.”
To learn more about RIFT, please visit: https://www.riftrefunds.co.uk/