This website shows the budget cuts that state schools in Wales have faced over the last three years. This page will tell you everything you need to know about how we calculate our figures.

If you’d like to fact-check or reproduce our numbers, skip ahead to our lengthier methodology, annotated with our formulas and the datasets we source from.


What do the numbers on the website mean?

The figures on this website show the difference between how much funding schools currently receive per pupil compared to what they received in 2015/16.


How are the figures calculated?

We take the public data from StatsWales on funding and pupil numbers to calculate per pupil funding for 2015/6, 2016/7, 2017/8, and 2018/9.

The figures are shown in real-terms – that means they are adjusted to take into account school costs over this three-year period. We then calculated the change in per pupil funding using 2015/16 as a baseline.

To calculate the shortfall in school income we found the amount necessary to restore the per pupil funding in real terms to its level in 2015/16.

Shortfall in funding 2018/19 = (Per pupil funding 2015/16 – Per pupil funding 2018/19) x Pupil numbers 2018/19

Inflation, put simply, means the increase in everyday prices from year to year, and school funding has not kept up with rising prices.


Why do we use 2015/16 as a baseline for comparison?

We use 2015/16 figures for comparison because this is in line with the HM Treasury’s baseline. The 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review promised that “schools funding will be protected in line with inflation” from that year.


Where do we get our data?

We use the Government’s own data as the basis for all of our calculations.

Specifically, we have taken into account these datasets:

  1. Individual schools budget
  2. Number of pupils

We also use the Government’s data on Schools’ Costs to see how much prices have increased between 2015-16 and 2018-19.

What data isn’t included?

We used publicly available school level data to make the calculations for schools. This has the advantage that it provides certainty on the accuracy, but it results in excluding some funding.

  • High needs funding – Because of the relatively small number of pupils and potentially large individual allocation, it is difficult to see trends in funding on a school-by-school basis, local authority averages are more appropriate.
  • 16 to 19 allocations – These allocations were not available at school level.
  • Pupil development grant – The school by school allocations for the Pupil Development Grant do not include a school reference number and so it was not possible to match the sums to the other funding data.
  • Early Years Funding – These allocations are not provided at school level.


Where can our calculations be found?

All our calculated figures are publicly available here.
Further information on our methodology can be found here.