The Chancellor’s budget — what does it mean for education?

11 March 2020
Today’s budget had a focus on ensuring the economy can cope with the likely temporary disruption caused by the Coronavirus.

There were also major announcements on infrastructure. But Chancellor Rishi Sunak had some announcements on education and schooling that will make a difference to parents and families throughout the UK.

School funding — the Chancellor reiterated the previously-mentioned pledge to give schools a three year settlement of an additional £7 billion in funding by 2022, which will mean increasing per-pupil funding next year by over 4%. This will be distributed to schools by the new national funding formula.

The Chancellor also announced the following new pledges:

  • Family services - £2.5 million to determine how best to integrate family services including family hubs
  • Levelling up Further Education - the Chancellor has announced an extra £1.5 billion for the further education estate of colleges to be spent over five years
  • Abolition of the reading tax - great news for parents and pupils alike who enjoy reading digital publications. They will no longer be subject to VAT from 1st December
  • Maths - every region in the country will receive funding for special 16–19 maths schools
  • Arts - An average of £25,000 per year for secondary schools to invest in arts activities
  • Physical Education — £30 million to improve PE teaching
  • Football foundation scheme — £8 million to build new pitches for 300,000 pupils

Parents may also like to know that £2.5 billion was announced for the National Skills Fund to improve adult skills.

Parental response

From our research, we believe that parents will welcome some of these initiatives. Our Annual Parent Survey 2019 revealed that 89% would like the school curriculum to focus on developing good physical health, and the same proportion for developing good mental health and well-being. Two thirds of parents (66%) say that the focus on developing good physical health is about right but one third (33%) say there is too little focus on developing good mental health and well-being.

See the full wording of the Budget 2020.