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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 14:50 GMT
Education spending to reach 74bn
university lab
Mr Brown said the "education leaving age" would rise to 18
Government spending on education in England is to continue rising - but by less than it has been doing.

Chancellor Gordon Brown's Budget promises cash increases for the next three years of 5.3% - 2.5% in real terms - to a total 74bn for 2010-11.

Among other things this would fund one-to-one tuition for 600,000 pupils, with extended services in all schools.

Recently the annual increase has been 4.4%. Mr Brown also said the "education leaving age" would rise to 18.

Work-based training

The Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, is to announce on Thursday how the government intends to implement this pledge, which has been discussed for some months.

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But it will mean everyone in England will have to be in some form of education or training - including training while in work - until they are 18.

Mr Brown told MPs the continuing increases would also allow for a doubling of the apprenticeship numbers to 500,000.

Higher education student numbers would rise to 1.2 million.

Student loan sale

Separate announcements were being made about the rest of the UK.

As with previous budgets, we will need to see the small print
John Dunford,
Association of School and College Leaders
The Wales Office said the next Assembly would get just short of 1bn more over four years for education.

Mr Brown also confirmed the government was to sell off its student loan book, raising 6bn.

The University and College Union said this was a short-term strategy as the government would ultimately lose money from repaid debts.

"We need assurances from government that the money raised will be ploughed back into higher education and not used to replace public funding," said general secretary Sally Hunt.

State-private gap

Total education spending in England was 29bn in 1997 and is 60bn this year. Of the 74.4bn total promised for 2010, 10.2bn is capital spending.

ENGLAND EDUCATION SPENDING
Total (rise)
2007-08: 63.7bn (6.2%)
2008-09: 66.9bn (5%)
2009-10: 70.0bn (4.6%)
2010-11: 74.4bn (6.3%)
Total for UK is 5.6% of GDP from 2007-08
Source: Treasury
Spending per pupil, which was 2,500 in 1997, would from now to 2010 rise by a further 10% in real terms to 6,600, Mr Brown said.

This was "continuing to narrow the gap in investment per pupil between state and private schools".

He promised this in last year's Budget but was criticised for vagueness - by, among others, the Commons education select committee.

Conservative leader David Cameron ridiculed it in his response to the Budget.

He said the chancellor was promising that one number he did not know would rise towards another number he did not know, but he could not say when.

He added: "For 10 years you have been telling us that education is your priority ... but 40% of primary school leavers can't read properly."

Academies

Education Secretary Alan Johnson called it a very good settlement for education and skills.

"It locks in the record levels of investment of the last decade and provides an above inflation increase to ensure we continue to deliver the very best for all of our young people," he said.

John Dunford of the Association of School and College Leaders said that, on the face of it, it appeared to be a good deal.

"However, as with previous budgets, we will need to see the small print before we can calculate the real effect that this will have on school and college budgets."

Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Sarah Teather said the Budget had not been as generous as billed.

"There is noticeably no mention of cash to extend Tony Blair's pet city academies project," she said.


SEE ALSO
School surpluses could face levy
08 Mar 07 |  Education
School leaving age set to be 18
12 Jan 07 |  Education
Adding up Brown's schools money
07 Dec 06 |  Education
MPs question Brown schools pledge
26 Oct 06 |  Education

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