NFER's 5 key priorities for the Spending Review

25 October 2021

A properly funded education system is fundamental to achieving the priorities set out by the Chancellor for the Spending Review. Education can provide the skilled employees and entrepreneurs of the future – supporting growth and the country’s international competitiveness, enabling us to respond to the challenges of climate change, and to harness new technology. Education is crucial in supporting levelling up, giving children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to excel and achieve their potential. Increased investment in education is needed now more than ever before to help children and young people recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic and to avoid significant economic and social challenges in the coming years.

NFER’s representation to the Spending Review 2021 sets out a number of proposals to help deliver the strong and innovative public education service that the government envisages. The impact of these measures should be carefully evaluated to ensure that they enable children, young people, our economy and society to recover and thrive.

Our representation focuses on five key areas:

  • Covid Recovery - a fully funded recovery plan is needed over a sustained period of time.
  • School Funding - schools need more funding to deal with the significant increase in costs created by the pandemic and to help children recover.
  • Further Education - There has been a marked decline in funding per student aged 16-18.
  • Mental Health and Well-being - An immediate increase in funding to address pupils’ wellbeing and mental health is necessary – both for schools and for specialist services.
  • Teaching - Recruiting and retaining sufficient numbers of high-quality teachers is essential for a well-functioning and improving education system.