Yesterday's Autumn Statement (previously known as the Pre-Budget Report) provided some additional detail on school funding up until the end of Parliament. A total of £1.2 billion capital funding was announced for the period 2012-13 to 2014-15.
The statement detailed that there will be £600 million to fund 100 additional Free Schools over the 2013-14 to 2014-15 period; it is estimated that the money will be divided equally between the two years. About a dozen of these Free Schools will be new specialist maths Free Schools for 16-18 year olds, which will be supported by university maths departments. To date, 24 Free Schools have opened and in October this year Michael Gove announced that 59 Free Schools had been approved to open in 2012 and a further five in 2013.
A further £600 million will be provided for basic need (for those local authorities where rising pupil numbers are putting pressure on school capacity). The money will paid over the period of 2012-13 to 2014-15, with approximately 50 percent in 2012-13, 30 percent in 2013-14 and 20 percent in 2014-15. In December last year the DfE announced that there would be £800 million of basic need funding for 2011-12 and this was increased by £500 million in July 2011 to bring the total basic need funding for 2011-12 to £1.3 billion.
The £1.2 billion in capital funding announced yesterday is in addition to that which has been announced previously, so it represents a 7.5 percent increase in school capital funding over the four years of this parliament, or an 11 percent increase over the remainding three years. However, apart from yesterday's announcement, no details have been released about how the remaining school capital funding will be allocated over the 2012-13 to 2014-15 period, so at this time it is impossible to see what impact this new money will actually have on schools.
A further £380 million a year by 2014-15 will be provided to extend 15 hours free education and care a week for disadvantaged two year olds, to cover an extra 130,000 children. Doubling the amount announced at the Spending Review, this is predicted to reach approximately 40 per cent of all two year olds in England by 2014-15.
It was also announced that the Government will set public sector pay awards at an average of one per cent for each of the two years after the current pay freeze comes to an end in 2012-13. Although most departmental budgets will be adjusted in line with this policy, schools savings will be recycled. It was also announced that the Government will raise the state pension age to 66 by 2020 and 67 between 2026 and 2028, which is 10 years earlier than announced in the Spending Review last year. The Government wants the public sector pension age to be in line with the private sector.