London Councils has warned that 70 per cent of schools (over 1,500) across the capital will face budget cuts if plans announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening today are brought into effect.
The Government says proposals for a new funding formula for schools would make the system fairer, however London is set to lose out with 97 percent of inner London borough schools expecting a funding squeeze.
The news follows a report from the National Audit Office in which the watchdog warned that educational standards across the country could plummet as schools in England face an 8% real-terms cut per pupil by 2019-20.
Commenting on the launch of the consultation, Cllr Peter John, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive member with responsibility for education, said:
“The Government’s promise that no school will lose more than 3% in per-pupil funding will be cold comfort to London parents when that cut could mean the loss of a teaching assistant which might have made all the difference to their child’s education.
“In her statement today, the Education Secretary committed to getting the funding formula right. If we are to avoid failing a generation of children, it is vital that she does.
“It has been our long held belief that that there should be a levelling up of schools funding across the country. By providing extra investment the government would be giving all schools the tools to match the success story that London has seen. But this is not what the new formula commits to do. In fact, as currently drafted, it would result around 70 per cent of schools in London facing cuts to their budgets, heaping further pressure on headteachers already grappling with funding squeezes.
“We will not let up on our campaign for funding levels to be protected in London in order to continue to improve standards and will be responding to the consultation in the strongest possible terms. The new funding formula must recognise that demand for school places is increasing in London, costs are higher, teacher recruitment and retention is a big challenge and there are skills shortages in key industries such as construction and IT.”
Notes to Editors
- The government’s ‘school national funding formula – government consultation stage 2’ will run until 14 March 2017 and proposes a 3% limit to overall funding reductions per school.