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A fifth of £2.5billion schools cash never reaches classroom

 Angela Burns AM

Figures published today demonstrate that nearly a fifth of the Welsh Labour Government’s £2.5billion schools budget given to local education authorities in 2014-15 is not passed on to schools.

On average across Wales 83% of the schools budget actually makes it to the classroom but that figure varies by local authority from 77% to 86%.

On average, £960 per pupil is retained by LEAs. Spending in Welsh schools also varies considerably between local authorities, with over £1,000 more per pupil spent in Ceredigion than in the Vale of Glamorgan or Newport.

Welsh Conservatives have proposed directly funding schools to deliver more money to the classroom and root out unnecessary waste in local authorities.

Angela Burns AM, Shadow Minister for Education, said, “These figures show in some parts of Wales that almost a quarter of schools funding never reaches the classroom.

“£1,000 for each and every pupil is eaten up in bureaucracy in local education authorities, without taking into account red tape within the Welsh Government’s own education department.

“Nearly half a billion pounds every year represents an enormous sum of money, which could represent major investment in new interactive learning resources, books or new teaching posts.

“At a time when public money is under pressure, it is vital that every available pound makes it to the frontline to give young people the very best start in life.

“These figures also lay bare the significant difference in per pupil spending in local authorities, which in Labour-run Newport and the Vale of Glamorgan is £1,000 less than in some other council areas.

“Welsh Conservatives want to root out unnecessary spending and red tape and deliver more cash to the classroom through the direct funding of schools.

“Labour Ministers must consider how they can deliver more cash to the frontline of our education system and end the scandal of a fifth of the £2.5billion schools budget never making it to the classroom.”

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