Universities in England are preparing for cuts of more than £4bn in the government's Spending Review - with deep reductions in teaching budgets.
Universities UK has warned of "misplaced and mistimed cuts", with expected cuts of about £3bn for teaching and £1bn for research.
Schools have been promised that front-line spending will be increased.
But there have been warnings of cuts to support services and changes to funding streams that supplement school budgets
There are also expected to be shake-ups for education maintenance allowances and Sure Start early years projects.
Almost one in four primary school boys in England has special educational needs (SEN), a government report finds.
Nearly four million school days in England were missed last spring and autumn because parents took children out of school to go on holiday.
Department for Education figures show 0.51% of half-days were missed in the autumn term of 2009 and spring term of 2010 because of family holidays.
Of these absences, 76% were approved and the rest were unauthorised.
The figures may reignite concerns that parents are taking advantage of cheap term-time family holiday deals.
The Department for Education calculates that some 3.9 million full school days were missed in all, based on the premise that each pupil in England should attend school for 380 half-days a year.
The issue has is not new and remains a problem government ministers and local authorities are keen to address.
In the autumn term of 2008, 0.73% of half-days were lost to authorised and unauthorised school holidays and 0.45% were lost in the spring term of 2009.