Concerns raised by The Public Accounts Committee over the true cost of financial health in schools

Concerns that financial pressures faced by schools could “damage children’s education” have been raised in a report published by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The report warns that the DfE is relying too much on national figures as an indicator of the system’s financial health, masking "significant variation and challenges for individual schools”. It highlights staffing cuts, dropping subjects from the curriculum and reducing support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), as some of the measures being taken to maintain financial sustainability.

The PAC found that deprived schools are disproportionately impacted by financial pressures under the DfE’s new funding system, with Dame Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the PAC highlighting the “unacceptable differences in life chances for our children and young people from the get-go, through no fault of their own”.