Fears over impact of £600m cut to Education Services Grant

Concerned commentators are calling for clarity over exactly how the government intends to cut £600 million from education support services.

While chancellor George Osborne protected the schools budget in last week’s Spending Review he is cutting the Education Services Grant (ESG), which is paid to academy schools and local authorities.

The money is spent on things like speech, physiotherapy and occupational therapies, tackling truancy, and carrying out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS-) checks.

This pot amounted to £1.02 billion in 2014/15 and has already been cut by £200 million in 2015/16. Currently, this gives £87 per-pupil to academy schools and £15 per-pupil to local authorities.

The Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 states: “Savings of around £600 million will be made on the ESG, including phasing out the additional funding schools receive through the ESG. The government will reduce the local authority role in running schools and remove a number of statutory duties. The government will consult on policy and funding proposals in 2016.”

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