Research and analysis

Understanding school financial decisions

This report examines the variation in expenditure between schools and the potential for improvements in resource use. It exploits a new data source to analyse, at a very disaggregated level, how schools allocate their financial budgets between different inputs.

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Detail

Each year schools in England spend over £30bn of public money. Put another way, the state spends over £50k per pupil over her or his time in school, and this expenditure is managed by schools. Schools are much more than simply a team of teachers in classrooms, with the typical secondary school employing over 100 people of whom only around half might be regular classroom teachers. In the private sector an organisation with 100 employees would count as a medium‐sized firm, and just like such a firm, schools have complex managerial decisions to make.

This report examines the variation in expenditure between schools and the potential for improvements in resource use. It exploits a new data source to analyse, at a very disaggregated level, how schools allocate their financial budgets between different inputs.

Includes:

  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Review of the evidence
  • Data
  • Results