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School funding cuts could damage economic growth

  • By Gemma Kappala-R...

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and London Councils are alerting the capital’s business community to the threat that funding cuts to London schools could pose to economic growth.

London Councils’ analysis of the proposed national funding formula for schools shows that:

  • 70 per cent of schools in London will face budget cuts due to the new national funding formula – more than 1,500 schools.
  • London’s schools will have to make savings totalling £360 million in 2018/19 alone due to the impact of the new national funding formula and wider cost pressures. This would be equivalent to cutting 5.6 qualified teachers posts per school in London.
  • Young people educated in London are a valuable source of talent for businesses. According to the Higher Education Journey of Young Londoners report, 71 per cent of young Londoners graduating in 2014/15 achieved either a first or 2:1 degree.
  • The total amount of additional funding required to protect every school in the country from a cash cut resulting from the National Funding Formula is £335 million, which equates to a 1 per cent increase in the schools block budget.

Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of LCCI said:

“Clearly there is a link between well-resourced schools, a skilled workforce and London being a leading global city. 

“London’s educational sector gives the capital a real advantage in attracting and retaining business. 

“However if the capital is to continue to delivering world-class products and services in a post-Brexit setting, then London schools will require consistent, adequate funding. 

“With London facing the challenge of approaching Brexit as well the challenge of an increasing population, now is the time to invest to train and equip young Londoners to be the skilled employees of tomorrow”. 

Cllr Peter John OBE, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive member for Business, Skills and Brexit, said:

“London’s schools are currently the best in the country – 89 per cent are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. This gives a tremendous advantage to businesses based here as successful schools are essential to the development of attractive places to live, work and invest in. 

“However, should standards in London’s schools fall, businesses across the capital will feel the heat, particularly when it comes to recruiting the right mix of skilled staff and fostering innovation and growth.

“Good schools require both excellent leadership and investment. Therefore the Government must invest the additional £335m needed to ensure that schools across the country are supported and that no school loses out with the introduction of the national funding formula.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

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  • The Department for Education is currently consulting on plans to introduce a new national funding formula for schools, which closes on 22 March 2017.
  • For more information on how the new national funding formula will affect London’s schools, click here.
  • London Chamber of Commerce and Industry is London’s largest independent networking and business support organisation, representing the interests of thousands of companies across the capital.
  • London Councils represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London. It is a cross-party organisation that works on behalf of all of its member authorities regardless of political persuasion. It also runs a number of direct services for member authorities including the Freedom Pass, Taxicard and Health Emergency Badge. It also runs an independent parking appeals service and a pan-London grants programme for voluntary organisations.