Education fears of budget cuts edge closer to reality

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Education fears of budget cuts edge closer to reality

Simon Quicke

The fears expressed by education specialists at the start of the year at the BETT show around the prospect of losing funds this year are becoming a reality with the government potentially looking to slash £1bn off the budget.

The target for savings will be in the back office according to Children's Secretary Ed Balls with computer equipment and teacher training bursaries just two of the areas likely to be impacted in an attempt to save front line jobs being axed.

According to reports Balls said that overall spending would continue at a rate of 2.1% a year between 2011 and 2013 but some savings had to be made.

The comments made by Balls about cuts come as little surprise to those in the education sector with a survey unveiled at the BETT show revealing that the expectation of budget cuts, which will hit ICT spending, are expected for the first time in years because of the economic situation.

Alan Smith, senior vice president UK & Ireland at UC4, said that IT had a major role to play in streamlining back office functions.

"For too long bloated and admin-intense departments have run up sky-high bills by relying on manual processes for tasks that can be easily handled through IT automation. By adopting a fresh approach to managing back office processes and reducing manual workloads, education chiefs can free-up staff to deliver a better service at a lower cost to the taxpayer," he said. 

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