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Education - Spending Review

  • Published: Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The schools budget for 5 to 16 year olds will grow by 0.1 per cent in real terms in each year of the Spending Review. Further places for 16 to 18-year olds will be funded. Universities budgets will reduced as some actions recommended in the Browne report are applied, and a greater proportion of the cost of a university education is paid by graduates on higher incomes.

Schools budgets under the Spending Review

Plans agreed in the Spending Review will:

  • increase the schools budget from £35 billion to £39 billion
  • introduce a new pupil premium, on top of maintaining per pupil funding in cash terms
  • protect Sure Start services
  • support early years learning by maintaining the entitlement of all three and four-year-olds to fifteen hours a week of education, and extending this entitlement to disadvantaged two-year-olds

Children to study until the age of 18

The age at which children must attend school, or 'participation age', will be raised to 18 by the end of this Parliament. Accordingly the government will fund further places for 16 to 18-year-olds.

Administration costs reduced

Administration costs of the Department for Education will be reduced by 33 per cent. This takes in the abolition of five quangos.

Capital spend

Capital spend will reduce by 60 per cent in real terms over the Spending Review period.

Maintenance spend

£15.8 billion is to be spent on maintaining the school estate, including rebuilding and refurbishing 600 schools.

For more on how the Spending Review affects schools and the Department for Education, follow the link below.

Further and Higher Education funding under the Spending Review

Changes to how we pay for higher education

The government will bring forward detailed proposals with a view to implementing changes for students entering higher education in autumn 2010. The Spending Review announced that:

  • universities will be able to increase graduate contributions, supported by government loans, with an offset in the teaching grant, from 2012/13 academic year
  • there will be loan support from government for full, and for the first time, part-time students.

But better-off graduates will have to pay more, allowing the government to reduce considerably the contribution that general taxpayers have to make to the education of others.

Read more about these proposed changes to how higher education is funded by following the link below.

Adult skills

The Spending Review announces:

  • an increase in adult apprenticeship funding by £250m a year by 2014-15
  • the introduction of income contingent loans for learners
  • savings from abolishing Train to Gain and other initiatives


The government will, by 2014-15, set up a new £150 million National Scholarship Fund to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) budget

Overall, average annual savings of 7.1 per cent will be found from the BIS budget – the minimum it was asked to find. For more on how the Spending Review affects BIS, and for information about Lord Browne's review of higher education, follow the link below.

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