Channel helped by increased school budgets says BESA

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BESA research shows budgets for local authority schools are up, with rises expected to continue for the coming financial year

Resellers who supply schools will be pleased to know that budgets seem to be up. IT suppliers might be helped by the increased focus on ICT through the new computing curriculum which started last autumn.

EDUCATION/BRITAIN/CLASSResearch findings released today have shown that schools’ budgets “continue to rise significantly above the level of inflation”.

BESA survey

The annual Resources in English Maintained Schools survey of 900 English maintained schools (597 primary and 303 secondary) reveals that actual budgets and budget forecasts continue to show an increase in almost all areas of expenditure. Maintained schools form the majority that are controlled by local authorities.

The findings of the survey carried out by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) suggest that total primary school budgets have increased by 4.1 percent to £1,022,000 and secondary budgets are up by 2.2 percent to £4,502,000.

Forecasts predict a further increase of 2.3 percent across all schools for 2015/16 resulting in a typical primary school seeing an additional £28,000 per annum and secondary schools expecting an extra £70,000.

In terms of the implications for resource expenditure, the sector has also seen an increase of 4.2 percent in primary schools (£40,270 per school) and 4.4 percent in secondary schools to an average of £171,520 per school.

At a time when the government is working to reduce the current skills gap between the number of technology jobs and the people qualified to fill them, the research has revealed a significant increase in expenditure on technology, with schools currently realising an increase in their budgets of 6.6 percent.

Caroline Wright, director of BESA, said: “Our research shows schools have a positive outlook for school funding. However we must be mindful that this research was carried out before the prime minister’s announcement earlier this week, that a future Conservative government would provide an extra £7 billion for extra places for rising numbers of pupils at a “flat cash” rate that would reduce with inflation.”