Whatever their decision it is worth bearing in mind that these cuts will compound and add to significant cuts that were laid out in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement (which was only published in December 2012). It is probable that we will find out the outcome swiftly as the new proposals are likely to come into force in April.
Funding for schools looks like it will continue to be protected, but as ever, it is worth noting that the other areas currently covered by the DfE remit are not (see item on Youth Services in our March policy and practice round-up). This means that Youth Services, Early Years and Play could continue to bear the disproportionate brunt of these cuts.
However, there is a real bright spot in the budget announcement in regards to creative industries and the digital economy. Creative Skillset has been given a further £10 million to help develop capacity for the creation of digital content. This will be delivered through the Skills Investment Fund. A further £15m has also been committed to the design and launch of a new competition, led by the Technology Strategy Board. This will invite consortia bids to support digital content production through partnerships with industry, including specialist Small/ Medium Enterprises, educational research facilities and training providers.