politics

Northern schools get less cash per pupil despite higher proportion of poor


Research by the House of Commons library found schools in London got more money per pupil last year despite fewer children on free school meals than in areas further north

Children in a classroom
The research was carried out by the House of Commons library

Schools across the North lose out on funding despite having a higher proportion of poorer pupils, analysis shows today.

Research by the House of Commons library found schools in London got more money per pupil last year despite fewer children on free school meals than in areas further north.

London schools received an average of £5,647 per pupil in cash terms in 2021, where 22.6% of children are eligible for free school meals.

The figure in the North East was £4,919, even though it has the highest proportion of pupils qualifying for the benefit – 27.5%.

In the North West, where 23.8% of kids were eligible for free lunches, schools got £4,925 per pupil.







Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said Ministers have ‘broken their promise’
(

Image:

Phil Harris)

Allocations for 2022 show a boost in funding for the North but follow a similar pattern.

Schools in the North East and North West get £5,082 per pupil, with £5,065 in Yorkshire.

But London is still ahead on £5,767. It comes after a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies said Tory cuts to education over the past decade were “without precedent in post-war history”.

The most deprived fifth of secondary schools had a 14% real-terms fall in spending per pupil between 2009 and 2019, compared to a 9% drop for the least deprived schools, it said.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “Ministers have broken their promise to ‘level-up’ communities.

Labour has an ambitious Children’s Recovery Plan which would give every child equal opportunities.

”The Department for Education said: “School funding is increasing… our national funding formula distributes core schools funding fairly, based on the needs of schools and their pupil cohorts. It uses a range of ‘deprivation’ factors – not simply pupils who are currently on free school meals.”

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