Falling rolls will wipe £1bn from school funding – with primary schools hit hardest

Schools are facing a £1bn loss in funding by 2030 due to falling rolls, with primary schools set to be hit the hardest, particularly in London and the North East.
Falling rolls: Pupil numbers are projected to fall by 436,000 in the next five years (Image: Adobe Stock) -

An analysis published this week by the Education Policy Institute (Cruikshanks, 2024) shows that the total number of pupils in state-funded primary and secondary schools are projected to fall from a peak of 7.57 million in 2022/23 to 7.14 million in 2028/29 – a fall of 436,000.

It estimates that this will result in school funding in England falling from £42.7bn in 2024/25 to £41.6bn in 2029/30.

Primary schools are set to be the hardest hit, with total funding projected to fall by 5.6% between 2023/24 and 2029/30.

Over the same time period, funding for secondary schools will actually increase until 2026/27, before it also then begins to fall as the lower primary pupil numbers filter through.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting Headteacher Update and reading some of our content for professionals in primary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcasts

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday


Already have an account? Sign in here