New research to look at the real impact of the cost-of-living crisis in schools

News Release

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Household wages and school incomes have not kept pace with inflation in England. This has led to an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, affecting pupils and their schools who are often the first-line of support for families.

In autumn 2023, NFER, in collaboration with ASK Research, will be publishing new research which will provide timely and authoritative findings enabling us to quantify how the crisis is impacting schools’ resources, their day-to-day provision and the potential impacts on teachers, heads and pupils.

Why this research is important

Action is needed now to mitigate the long-lasting consequences which the cost-of-living crisis risks having on pupils. However, relatively little is known about the overarching scale of challenges in schools, how these vary across settings and groups of pupils, and what steps schools are taking to mitigate the impacts of the crisis.

What does the research involve?

This project will involve a nationally representative survey of teachers and senior leaders in primary and secondary mainstream and special school settings in England.

This project will:

  • provide rapid insights into the overarching impact of the cost-of-living crisis on pupils
  • assess how day-to-day provision in schools has been affected and the support which schools are providing
  • consider the impact of the crisis on pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

Research questions:

  1. What impact is the cost-of-living crisis having on pupils within schools?
  2. What support is being provided within schools, how is it being targeted, and how has this changed over time?
  3. What impact is the cost-of-living crisis having on day-to-day provision within schools?

What will be the impact of this research?

Our research will provide rapid, comprehensive and unequivocal insights into the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis. This will inform any immediate action that is needed by policymakers to support the welfare and education of pupils in schools. It will also provide crucial insights for practitioners into the different approaches being used across the sector.