The ongoing impact of the cost-of-living crisis on schools

Megan Lucas and Jenna Julius

05 June 2024

Since 2021, unprecedented increases in energy costs, rapid increases in food costs and substantial increases in the cost of housing via higher rent/mortgage costs have driven a dramatic rise in the cost of living across England.

Despite inflation having fallen from its peak in winter 2022, costs remain high compared to incomes and cost pressures are expected to persist for years to come. These cost-of-living pressures have had a profound impact on pupils and their families, alongside directly impacting on the expenditures of schools. 

Drawing on an online survey of over 1200 teachers and senior leaders in mainstream schools in March 2024, this research builds on our previous research into the impact of the cost of living and explores how cost-of-living pressures, alongside wider financial pressures, are impacting schools a year on. This research aims to establish: 

  1. Has the level of need among pupils changed since last year? 
  2. What support are schools providing to pupils and how has this changed over the last year? 
  3. What is the ongoing impact of cost pressures, including cost of living increases, on schools’ provision and financial positions? 

Key Findings