Dear Mr Jayawardena,
Thank you for your letter of 16 September regarding a statement on school funding made by the National Education Union (NEU). The Joint Secretaries of the NEU wrote to the UK Statistics Authority regarding the same two points that you raised. I enclose a copy of my reply to them, which I believe also addresses your concerns.
You disagreed firstly with the NEU’s position that “not every school will see a real terms rise.” The Joint Secretaries argue in their letter to me that the assumed rate of inflation used by the Department for Education (DfE) does not reflect the cost increases faced by schools, which the NEU estimate to be 2.9 per cent for 2020/21. However, this is not made clear on their website. We have shared with the NEU our view that the use of the GDP deflator is the standard method for adjusting public spend in Spending Rounds, and while it may not fully adjust for the change of prices in all sectors, it enables consistent comparisons.
You also asked us to investigate a claim by the NEU that many schools would receive less than the minimum funding increases announced by DfE. The NEU have since removed this claim from their website following DfE’s announcement of a consultation on changes to local
Sir David Norgrove