The Institute for Fiscal studies says that spending will fall by 13% between 2010-2011 and 2014-2015: in England, the deepest spending cuts are in school buildings, higher education, 16-19 provision and early years.
A spokesman for the Department of Education said, "The government had to take tough decisions to reduce the deficit”, and added, "[…] the schools' budget is actually increasing by £3.6bn in cash over the next four years."
The Institute for Fiscal Studies reports that after a decade of rapid growth in funding schools and universities, the UK now faces the biggest cut in education spending since the 1950s.
The IFS has also said that the spending cuts will not be evenly spread.
Higher education faces a 40% spending cut, as the government changes from public funding to private contribution, plus the increase in tuition fees. Universities will be able to make up the loss with this fee increase, but applications have seen a large drop in the last month or so.
The IFS has warned that the biggest long-term losers may be early years support, youth services and 16-19 year old education in England. These will lose around 20% and will not be able to offset this cut by private funding.
The Unite union carried out a Freedom of Information search of councils in England and Wales, which found that one in five youth centres are set to close next year.