School spending per pupil looks set to fall by 7 per cent despite a Conservative pledge to increase the education budget if the party wins the general election.
However spending would increase if either Labour or the Liberal Democrats win power, according to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies.
In a new paper examining each of the main political parties proposals for education spending, the IFS calculated school budgets in England could face a real-terms cut of almost 3 per cent by 2021/22 if the Tories win the election.
This rises to a 7 per cent reduction by 2021/22 once the cuts schools have faced over the past two years are taken into account.
Labour’s plans would leave per pupil spending 6 per cent higher in real terms over the same five year period – 2017/18 to 2021/22.
The IFS – which publishes a wide appraisal of all the manifestos today – the Liberal Democrats’ plans would see per pupil spending protected in real terms at the 2017/18 level.
It comes amid continued concerns from school leaders, teachers and parents about a growing squeeze on school budgets.
The Conservative manifesto said: “We will increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion by 2022, representing more than a real terms increase for every year of the parliament.”