Trends in spending since the late 1970s and international comparisons. Updated to include spending figures published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2014 and Education at a Glance 2014Jump to full report >>
UK education expenditure increased consistently from the late 1990s to reach 5.6% in 2009-10 and 2010-11; the highest rates since the mid 1970s.
Substantial increases in education spending as a proportion of GDP occurred in the early 1990s and the decade from 1999-00.
Spending has increased in real terms in most years since 1979-80. The only periods where it fell for two or more consecutive years were in the mid-1980s, mid-1990s and early 2010s.
Education and training expenditure was 5.9% of GDP in 2009-10. Real terms cuts 2012-13 took it back to 5.2%.
Spending on both measures increased in real terms in 2013-14, but fell, slightly, as a proporiton of GDP.
The OECD ranked the UK 11th highest out of 29 states on total education expenditure as a percentage of GDP in 2011.
At 6.4% of GDP (on the OECD measure), total public and private UK expenditure on education was just above the OECD weighted average of 6.2%.
Commons Briefing papers SN02631
Author: Paul Bolton
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