Inner City Schools & Sixth Forms Face Cuts

Henry Stewart's picture
The claim is that school funding is being maintained. But is it for all schools? The Strategy Review (p 41) makes clear that the 0.1% increase in school funding includes the pupil premium:

“The DfE settlement includes: Real terms increase of 0.1 per cent in each year of the Spending Review for the 5 to 16s school budget, including a £2.5 million pupil premium. Underlying per pupil funding will be maintained in cash terms;”

I have bolded “including”, which appears to mean the premium is not additional funding but will replace other funding. And we know from the analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies that the pupil premium will re-distribute funding from deprived schools in deprived areas (like Hackney and Tower Hamlets) to deprived schools in affluent areas. So this spells out cuts for inner London schools.

Also note the “5 to 16s” element. It is stated (further down p41) that one element in reducing overall DfE costs in real terms will be  “reducing 16 to 19s unit cost”, though it doesn’t say by how much. That means cuts in sixth form funding.

As a Chair of Governors of an inner London comprehensive that means we will be facing two sets of cuts. With no surplus in the existing budget - and ICT and Facilities Management spending being untouchable (as part of the BSF contract) - that means redundancies and probably a return to larger classes. That is the real story behind the spin.
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