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Education Spending

The great imponderable in State education is where all the money actually goes...

There is a good breakdown of the headline figures from 2004 here which suggests that across the UK, funding for education is to rise to £77bn by 2007-08, up from £37bn in 1997 and £59bn in 2004.

If we rather generously assume that most people enjoy approximately 20 years of education (from, say, 3 to 23) - then we can calculate that approximately 25% of the population are in education of some sort (based on 20 years from 80 years life expectancy).

Which suggests that we distribute roughly £80 Billion across approximately 15 Million people each year. Approximately £5,000+ per head.

But as to where it all goes... well, apparently our own parliamentary Select Committee would like to know more as well.

MPs have questioned Chancellor Gordon Brown's Budget pledge to raise state school funding to the levels enjoyed by the independent school sector.

Mr Brown said he wanted funding per state school pupil to rise from £5,000 to £8,000, as in independent schools.


As well as criticising Mr Brown, the select committee's investigation into government funding for education criticised the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) for producing an annual report that failed to provide any comprehensive information on education spending.


The select committee's concerns echo those raised in July by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The institute [then] said that the lack of a date on Mr Brown's aspiration "left us little the wiser as to the outlook for spending per pupil". It estimated that it would cost £17bn to close the gap and that this would not be achieved before 2014.

[A DfeS spokesperson indicated that] by 2008, spending per pupil will have more than doubled from £2,650 to £5,750."

Link: BBC Education.

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