Schoolzone | Long term trends in expenditure on teaching staff

Long term trends in expenditure on teaching staff

Date: 29.04.2020


  • Between 2003 and 2017, per pupil spending on teaching staff increased at a much slower rate than spending overall (a real terms increase of 17 per cent versus 42 per cent across all expenditure).
  • In our sample of schools, median per pupil spend on teachers amongst each of primary, secondary, and special schools fell in real terms between 2010 and 2017, having increased considerably in the seven years before that. But all remained above the levels of expenditure in 2003; in fact, secondary schools that were the lowest spending on teachers in 2017 were still well above the highest spending secondary schools from 2003.
  • Being a school in London (where teacher salaries are higher), or with high levels of disadvantage, was associated with the highest level of expenditure on teachers in both primary and secondary schools. In secondary schools, those with high proportions of pupils with English as an additional language had expenditure that was also well above average. These groups of schools saw the largest increases in expenditure on teachers between 2003 and 2017 (though there were generally falls between 2010 and 2017).
  • Secondary schools that would later join large academy trusts appear to have had some of the largest increases in expenditure between 2003 and 2010 (pre academisation) but then some of the largest reductions between 2010 and 2017. They also saw some of the largest fluctuations in their pupil teacher ratios. This could reflect a different approach to workforce management and deployment in these trusts.


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