Overhaul of education funding ‘will not help poorer children’

17 Mar 17

The planned overhaul of education funding will do little to help disadvantaged pupils who live in deprived areas, education charities have warned.

In a joint submission to the government’s consultation on the National Funding Formula, the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation said both economic and educational disadvantages combined to make it less likely that poor children would achieve the same level of academic success as their more affluent peers.

Oxford University research has found that poorer children living in poor areas are much less like to stay on at school or college and study for A Levels than those who are poor but live in more affluent locations.

Under the proposed changes to the funding formula, schools in areas of high deprivation look set to lose out, the charities claim.

Instead more generous funding will go to those schools with low prior attainment levels. Sutton Trust chair Sir Peter Lampl said: “While we welcome plans for a fair and transparent funding system, the government proposals do not do enough to recognise the double disadvantaged that pupils from poor homes and deprived neighbourhood face.

“It is particularly concerning that schools serving poorer pupils in London look set to lose out. We are worried that this could jeopardise the work that schools in the capital have done to improve results for poor pupils.”

London schools have made remarkable progress since 2000, bringing attainment levels for many pupils in inner London above the national average.

“It would be a mistake to punish their achievements by cutting back funding to such an extent that the high educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils in the capital are put at risk,” the charities stated.

The consultation closes on 22 March.

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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