Spending review November 2020 (SR20)

Posted on November 30th, 2020

The Department for Education (DFE) settlement provides a £2.9 billion cash increase in core resource funding from 2020/21 to 2021/22, delivering a 3.2% average real terms increase per year since 2019/20. The DFE’s capital budget increases by £0.5 billion in cash terms next year, taking core total departmental expenditure limits (DEL) to £76.4 billion. Average real growth in core total DEL is 3.4% per year from 2019/20 to 2021/22.

SR20 supports the government’s commitment to level up education standards by providing for an increase in the schools budget from £47.6 billion in 2020/21 to £49.8 billion in 2021/22 – an increase of £2.2 billion. This reaffirms the government’s commitment at spending round 2019 (SR19) to increase the core schools budget by £7.1 billion by 2022/23, compared with 2019/20 funding levels.

SR20 also supports the government’s commitment to improve skills in the economy and level up productivity across England by providing £291 million for further education in 2021/22, to ensure that core funding for 16–19 year olds is maintained in real terms per learner. This is in addition to the £400 million that the government provided at SR19.

SR20 additionally provides capital investment in the education estate to support levelling up education across England, including:

  • Further detail on the government’s ten-year school rebuilding programme. The programme will launch with a commitment to 50 new school rebuilding projects a year across England.
  • Investment of £1.8 billion in 2021/22 to maintain and improve the condition of school buildings.
  • £300 million in 2021/22 for new school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities, almost four times as much as the government provided to local authorities in 2020/21.
  • Funding towards meeting the government’s commitment to £1.5 billion to bring all further education college estates in England up to a good condition.
  • £83 million in 2021/22 to ensure that post-16 providers can accommodate the expected demographic increase in 16 to 19 year olds.
  • £64 million in 2021/22 for the Student Loan Company, including for its transformation programme.
  • £162 million in 2021/22 to support the rollout of T Levels wave 2 and 3.
  • £72 million in 2021/22 to support the commitment to build 20 Institutes of Technology.
  • £24 million in 2021/22 to start a new programme to maintain capacity and expand provision in secure children’s homes. This will provide high quality, safe homes for some of our most vulnerable children and will mean children can live closer to their families and support networks, in settings that meet their needs.

The DFE settlement also:

  • Confirms £22 million to continue improving the quality of teaching, including funding for mentor time as part of the early careers framework.
  • Provides funding towards delivering a £220 million holiday activities and food programme to provide enriching activities and a healthy meal for disadvantaged children in the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays in 2021. This provides funding up to the end of 2021/22 and supports the government’s commitment to establish a flexible childcare fund to increase the availability of high quality and affordable flexible childcare.
  • Provides £44 million for early years education in 2021/22 to increase the hourly rate paid to childcare providers for the government’s free hours offers. This is on top of the £66 million increase confirmed at SR19.
  • Provides funding to prepare for a UK-wide domestic alternative to Erasmus+, in the event that the UK no longer participates in Erasmus+, to fund outward global education mobilities. The government will set out further details in due course.