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One million and more reasons London must get fair school funding

  • By Gemma Kappala-R...

London MPs joined forces today to discuss government plans to reform school funding, amid concerns that these plans do not fully recognise the needs of the more than one million children and young people at schools in the capital.

Making sure that the new national school funding formula works for London’s children is a priority for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for London, which met in Westminster today.

Without new money in the system, the new national funding formula will almost certainly involve redistributing existing money allocated to London’s schools to other parts of the country in the future.

While 89 per cent of London’s primary and secondary schools are judged to be good and outstanding, the highest percentage in the country, and London pupils outperform their peers at both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4, any funding reductions could put further improvements at risk.

London’s schools have considerable challenges to overcome, such as growing demand for primary and secondary school places, higher numbers of children with special educational needs than elsewhere in the country and difficulties with teacher recruitment.

Bob Neill MP, Co-Chair of the APPG for London, said:

“No child in London should be disadvantaged by proposals for fairer funding and so we will work constructively with the government to ensure fair funding. Achieving fairer funding for schools across the country requires investment, but this will pay dividends in the decades ahead.”

Steve Reed MP, Co-Chair of the APPG for London, said:

“The government’s manifesto outlined a commitment to protect the amount of money following a child into school and this should apply to London’s children too. Given that London’s schools are currently the best performing in the country, it would be short-sighted to take money away from London’s pupils.”

APPG for London members will be working with London Councils, the Mayor of London and businesses to respond to the government’s funding review and ensure that education funding reflects the true costs of educating London’s children.
For more information, visit, www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/appg and follow the APPG for London on Twitter at @APPGforLondon.

ENDS

Notes to editor:

1)         On November 25, 2015, the government announced it intended to introduce the first ever national funding formula for schools, high needs and early years. The government stated it would launch a detailed consultation on all three formulae in 2016 and will implement the new formulae from 2017-18.

2)         London represents the biggest component of government school funding, with more than one million children and young people being educated in London’s 3,000 state schools.

3)         The capital has a significant number of children who live in one borough, or one parliamentary constituency, and choose to be educated in another borough or parliamentary constituency – accounting for more than 136,000 pupils. This figure includes more than 80,000 secondary school students, 20 per cent of London’s secondary school population.

4)         Between 2015 and 2020 London will need to create 113,000 new school places, requiring investment of at least £1.5 billion as the capital’s school population rises by 12 per cent.

5)         The APPG for London aims to promote London in the interests of all its people, places and businesses as a global city and powerhouse of the economy. The cross-party group was formally set up at the end of May 2015 and currently has 61 members: 44 MPs and 17 Peers. The APPG members come together to help provide a voice for London and to promote the capital in the interests of all Londoners. London Councils provides the secretariat to the group on behalf of London Government including the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.