Department of Education draft budget 2015-16

The Department of Education has published its draft budget for 2015-16.
PDF icon DE Draft Budget 2015-16182.01 KB

You can access the draft budget here, or from the download link to the right. A summary of the key issues is given below.

The deadline for responses is the 29th of December.

Department of Education draft budget summary

Resource budget: £1,849.3m (4.9% reduction)

Capital budget: £146.8m (£11.8m of which ring-fenced as part of ‘Together: Building a United Community’)

The Department has stated that it has a resource funding gap of £162.5m (8.4%) and a reduced capital budget to deal with; higher than its reduced cash budget as £68m of “inescapable” pressures from contractual pay increases, demographic impacts, price inflation and statutory commitments add to the Department's spending needs.

The Department needs to have budget reduction measures capable of realising significant reductions within one year; to ensure it balances its [non-ringfenced] Resource budget in 2015-16.

The proposed reductions in order to meet the funding gap are outlined below. Some detail has been given, and more is available in the draft budget document itself (pages 18-24).

DE Draft Budget 2015-16 resource reductions £m
ELB Block Grant (5% cut) 20.0
Contingency fund (release of reserves set aside) 9.2
Procurement: Goods & Services 8.0
Smaller NDPBs (e.g. £3m cut in CCEA budget) 3.7
Third Party Organisations 2.4
Earmarked Funding (safeguarding and behaviour, schools ICT and community relations) 6.3
Schools Maintenance 3.0
Entitlement Framework (29% reduction) 2.0
Release of Severance funding (cost are instead to be covered from a central Executive fund) 10.0
Meals: Nutritional Standards (100% reduction) 4.7
Departmental Administration (9% reduction in management and admin costs to be achieved) 3.0
Other Spending Areas (e.g. SureStart, pre-school education, SEN capacity building and extended schools) 11.5
Aggregated Schools Budget (7% reduction, to be passed on to schools) 78.7
Total 162.5

On the capital side, major capital building programmes have been prioritised, though to the detriment of other programmes such as the School Enhancement Programme (SEP) and Minor Works Programme. For example, the planned £85m spending on SEP has been reduced to £40m, and Minor Works (previously in the order of £60m-70m) to £25m. No money is being allocated to the Energy Efficiency programme (£10m in 2014-15) and areas such as ICT and transport are being reduced to minimal levels.

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