NFER comments on DfE data showing deteriorating financial position of schools


Thursday 25 January 2024

Today the Department for Education (DfE) has published new data on the financial positions of local authority (LA) maintained schools in England for the 2022/23 financial year.  

Commenting on the findings, Jenna Julius, Research Director for the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) said: 

The DfE data highlights that recent cost pressures have, on average, deteriorated the financial positions of schools in 2022/23 with the percentage of LA maintained schools with an overall budget deficit increasing to 13.1 per cent in 2022/23 from 8.8 per cent in 2021/22.  

“Any school running an overall deficit is expected to take steps towards returning to a neutral financial position. These figures highlight that at least 10 per cent of schools are likely to need to make cuts in the coming year to balance their finances. 

“Without urgent action now – and with cost-of-living increases continuing to impact schools these budget challenges risk having far reaching and long-lasting impacts on pupils, particularly those who are most vulnerable, across both mainstream and special school settings. This was highlighted in the findings of NFER’s cost-of-living research series.”