Belfield, Chris Farquharson, Christine Sibieta, Luke
IFS Report R150
Education spending is the second-largest element of public service spending in the UK behind health, representing about £90 billion in 2017-18 in today's prices or about 4.3% of national income. The level of UK education spending has risen significantly in real terms over time, growing particularly fast from the late 1990s through to the late 2000s, before falling in real terms from 2010 onwards. Whilst important, such overall trends in total education spending tell us little about what has happened to the different areas of education spending. Our first annual report on education spending in England provides measures of spending per student in the early years, schools, further education and higher education back to the early 1990s. These series of day-to-day spending per pupil allow us to understand how policy decisions have affected the resources available to students in different stages of education over the long run.