‘England’s schools pay nearly £1bn for energy’

The government has been urged to protect “squeezing” school budgets

Big Zero Report 2022

Schools across England could be paying an estimated £1 billion a year for energy they use.

That’s according to a report by the Labour party which suggests that already stretched school budgets are struggling.

The study found that secondary schools spend more than £161,000 a year on energy while primaries allocate an estimated £32,000 to energy bills.

Currently, schools are not protected through the price cap from rising costs.

Last month, a regional education charity found that schools in the North East could cut staff and lessons to limit their expenses.

Shadow Schools Minister Stephen Morgan said: “Children have already faced huge disruption due to the government’s chaotic handling of the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis, made worse by Downing Street is further squeezing school budgets.

“Ministers must get a grip and urgently work with schools to ensure rising costs do not lead to children missing out on further opportunities.”

A Department for Education spokesperson told ELN: “We recognise schools may be facing cost pressures, particularly where energy prices have increased. The Department is contacting all schools in England to better understand how they have been affected by recent energy price increases and consider what additional support we can offer.

“Cost increases should be seen in the wider context of funding for schools. In 2022-23, core schools funding will increase by £4 billion compared to 2021-22 – a 7% cash terms per pupil boost – and this will help schools to meet wider cost pressures, including energy prices.

“All schools can access a range of tools to help them get the best value from their resources, including recommended deals for energy costs and services related to energy.”

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