Summer economic update 2020 – Education
The summer economic update had the feel of a mini-Budget, with the Chancellor announcing a number of new measures as part of his ‘plan for jobs’.
The £160 billion spent by the Treasury so far on Coronavirus-related measures has constituted the first ‘protection’ phase of the government’s response to the virus. The Chancellor told us that we are now in the second phase, in which the government will focus on supporting people to find jobs and on giving businesses incentives to create and protect jobs. The third ‘rebuild’ phase will follow.
The Chancellor confirmed that the furlough scheme will not be extended any further, but he did announce that employers will be able to claim a jobs retention bonus for previously furloughed employees that remain employed until 31 January 2021. This no doubt will give some schools some much needed certainty in relation to staff retention.
In addition there were a number of measures announced that were specific to the state education sector. These include:
- £101 million for all 18-19 year olds to study targeted courses when there are no employment opportunities
- An additional £17 million to triple the number of work academy placements
- £200 million to be brought forward for FE capital funding
- £1 billion of the schools rebuilding project to finance the first 50 projects
Although this was not a Budget speech, the Chancellor committed up to £30 billion towards these announcements, and it is clear that he has not put away the Treasury chequebook yet.