Despite the headlines from Scotland’s MSM (Express in April 2019 above) the truth is somewhat different when you consider the evidence. Indeed, the Express headline is a barefaced lie. From the IFS yesterday:
School spending per pupil is highest in Scotland, lowest in Northern Ireland. Total school spending per pupil was about £6,600 in Scotland in 2018–19. This is £600 higher than spending per pupil in England (£6,000), with spending per pupil in Wales £200 lower at £5,800. Spending per pupil was lowest in Northern Ireland, at £5,500 per pupil.
Cuts have been largest in England and Northern Ireland, with spending per pupil falling by 8% in England since 2009–10 and by 11% since 2011–12 in Northern Ireland. Cuts have been smaller in Scotland (2%) and Wales (6%). This differential picture is mostly driven by the fact that England and Northern Ireland have seen large rises in pupil numbers, whilst Scotland and Wales have not.
In terms of trends over time, we see steady declines across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, there was a decline of 6% between 2009–10 and 2013–14, followed by a rise of about 4% since 2013–14. As a result, the net decline is notably less in Scotland, which is the only country in the UK to have seen a rise in school spending since 2013–14.