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School funding could plunge by over £1 billion in five years as the falling rolls crisis bites – prompting warnings that more budget cuts would be “catastrophic” to the sector. 

As school funding is closely linked to pupil numbers, the demographic change presents “imminent challenges to the education system and the financial health of schools”, the Education Policy Institute said.

The think tank, in a report published this morning, has urged government to commit to maintaining funding levels in cash terms. This means they could “reinvest” the excess cash to boost per-pupil funding rates.

Association of School and College Leaders general secretary Pepe Di’Iasio said the strategy would “put education on a more sustainable footing without costing any additional money”.  

“Schools must not be left to manage the huge financial risk that this change in the national picture presents.” 

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