The Department for Education (DfE) has set out how it plans to save £670m this year in a letter seen by Community Care.
The letter, from education secretary Michael Gove to former secretary of state Ed Balls, said: “I am not prepared to risk cuts to frontline budgets to support unfunded promises made under the previous administration.”
Gove said that £359m would be saved from efficiencies, cutting waste, and stopping or scaling back lower priority spending.
The remainder of the £670m will be saved by reducing the area-based grant to local authorities by £311m this year. Gove said that “core frontline provision funded through ring-fenced grants” will be protected, but what counts as “core frontline provision” is not specified. The letter added: “This means that local authorities should be able to achieve the necessary savings through efficiencies across their budgtes rather than cuts to fronline services.”
The £359m includes the following cuts to social care services:
● National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services: £16m cut
10% of the current year’s budget will be saved by making reductions and achieving better value for money across a range of leadership programmes operated by the college. This could include the programme in place for directors of children’s services.
● CWDC: £15m cut
10% of the current year’s budget saved by scaling back on marketing and communication and simplifying the range of workforce programmes.
● Safeguarding: £8m cut
Various small savings from delivering child internet safety more efficiently and from underspends on home safety equipment scheme.
● DfE central communications: £5m cut
Over 20% of budget cut by moving to better digital communications and reducing communications activities like DirectGov Kids.
● Children and families team at DfE: £4m cut
The £4m cut is to the team’s communication’s budget.
● Becta: £10m
This government agency focused on the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning set to be scrapped.
● Workforce development in 14-19: £14m cut
A reduction in centrally provided workforce development activity, including ending a number of field forces. The names of these field forces are not revaled.
● Central procurement, IT and research budgets: £7m cut
● Families Information Service: £4.5m cut
Small savings to non-frontline spending and other families budgets through small efficiencies and cuts to communications budgets.
● Early years buddying and 0-7 partnerships pilots: £5m cut