Today the government announced its proposal for "Fairer Schools Funding in 2015-16
". It lists 62 local authorities that will gain from this change and states that " No school or local authority will lose money as a result of this proposal" as "every other local authority will see its per pupil funding maintained in cash terms".
Read that carefully. Funding will be maintained "in cash terms". Taking account of inflation, any schools that receive only the same level of cash faces a cut in what they can afford. So what can we tell about which areas gain and which ones lose.
Coalition-led authorities are the winners
The local authorities that will gain most are Surrey (£24.8 million), Cambridgeshire (£20.5 million) and Bromley (£19.1 million). This gives a clue as to which parts of the country will gain. All of these have levels of disadvantage that are well below the national average.
Of the Inner London local authorities, only one will gain. That authority, Westminster, is Conservative-led.
Of the 11 Outer London Tory or Liberal authorities, 6 are in the winners list
Of the 9 Labour-run Outer London authorities, only 2 are in the winners list
My thanks to @BorisWatch for those calculations. And my thanks to @politic_animal who checked the 62 local authorities nationwide who gain, and reckons only 14 are Labour-led. Perhaps formula changes are justified but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the formula has been changed in a partisan way.
More funding for the most advantaged
The coalition has stated its commitment to helping the most disadvantaged and the pupil premium has been a step towards this (although it has partly replaced other forms of funding). So will the funding formula changes provide further help to the most disadvantaged? It appears not:
Disadvantaged pupils in the winning authorities: 23.4%
Disadvantaged pupils in the others: 34.2%
Taking only the top 10%, the 15 local authorities that gained most, the proportion of disadvantaged pupils is just 21.8% - well below the national average of 26%.
In conclusion, the funding changes will mainly help Conservative and Liberal authorities, and provide extra money to the areas with low levels of disadvantage. Is this really the best use of an extra £350 million of funding.