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On 3 July 2018 there will be an Estimates Day debate on the spending of the Department for Education.

The subject for this debate was selected by the Backbench Business Committee as part of the new process for choosing subjects of Estimates Day debates, following the publication of the 2018-19 Main Estimates on 19 April 2018. The application to the Committee was made by Robert Halfon MP, chair of the Education Select Committee.

The debate comes at a time when the Government has recently introduced new funding arrangements for schools, and the Education Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the funding of schools and colleges.

The Department for Education is one of the big four spending departments, along with health, defence and work & pensions. DFE’s spending is dominated by grants to schools, making up around £50 billion of DFE’s planned 2018-19 Resource Departmental Limit of £66.5 billion. In addition, £4.9 billion goes on education standards and curriculum, with another £4 billion to the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Higher education, including write downs in the value of the student loan book, make up a further £5.9 billion.

DFE’s planned 2018-19 capital budget includes £2.7 billion in capital grants to schools and £2 billion in capital funding for the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

An estimated £21.3 billion in student loans are expected to be paid out, with receipts totalling £2.6 billion (capital repayments) and £3.2 billion (interest).  

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