Laws’ Logic – where more equals less

Janet Downs's picture
“We’re not only demanding this of schools and suggesting that that schools need to raise their sights in the future. But we’re also supplying additional money… all of this money that we’re talking about today, the increase in the pupil premium is additional money that government is investing.”

David Laws, schools minister, 17 July 2013

The additional money is “additional” in the sense that the pupil premium, the amount paid to schools for each pupil claiming free school meals (FSM) and for each child from a forces family, is increasing.

However, Channel 4 Factcheck found pupil premium money is being used to fill the gap caused by reduced budgets to schools.

“The flat amount of cash that schools get through standard funding has been frozen: meaning that as inflation rises, schools are getting a real-terms budget cut,” says Factcheck.

Factcheck said a recent report* issued by the Department for Education (DfE) revealed “77 per cent of primary schools saw their total budgets fall between 2011/12 and 2012/13…Some 45 per cent had seen their budgets fall more than 5 per cent.”

The additional money isn’t really additional because it doesn’t increase the amount of money that schools can spend. That’s being reduced.

It appears, then, that Laws needs lessons in addition as well as in the meaning of averages.


*The link on Factcheck to the report led to another Factcheck published before this latest DfE report. I’d be grateful if anyone could provide a link to the actual report as I couldn’t find it.

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