Public spending watchdog: 'Desk-based DfE officials do not understand the budget pressures faced by schools'

The government needs to speak to schools about the savings they can realistically make, warns the Commons public accounts committee.


The Department for Education "does not seem to understand the budget pressures facing schools", despite demanding that they save £3 billion, according to MPs.


By 2019-20, officials expect schools to have saved £1.3bn through better procurement and £1.7bn by using staff more effectively. But these figures have been arrived at following a "desk-based benchmarking exercise" by the DfE, the House of Commons public accounts committee has said today in a report on the financial sustainability of schools.


Schools have already been making savings, the report says, and the DfE does not appear to have any plan to monitor how schools will make additional savings, or what the impact will be on children's education.


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