The Education Policy Institute has published a report on Covid-19 cost pressures on schools in England. It finds that less than a third (31%) of the additional costs facing schools as a result of the pandemic are covered by the “exceptional cost fund” the Government recently announced. The report explains that most schools have had to spend more this year to operate in a Covid-safe environment – purchasing PPE, cleaning supplies, signage, digital equipment and handwashing facilities – with half having to use their reserves and half unlikely to balance their budget by the end of the year. Schools have also spent more on teaching staff this year, which is expected to increase in the coming months.
The EPI estimates that the majority of the total Covid-related costs to schools will not be met by the “exceptional cost fund”. This means that many schools will still face a significant funding shortfall following the pandemic; one which is likely to amount to £40 per pupil and may force schools to make savings elsewhere. In total, EPI estimate the shortfall to be half of the funding allocated by the Department for Education to schools to help pupils catch up with lost learning. The analysis also shows that the pressure of additional Covid-related costs will be felt most in the schools with the highest levels of disadvantage.
You can read the full report here.