‘Suf­fer­ing’ schools told fig­ures are mis­lead­ing

Depart­ment for ed­u­ca­tion re­sponds to Bucks teach­ers’ cam­paign

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by RACHAEL BURFORD

CAM­PAIGN­ERS head­ing the ‘Worth­Less? Cam­paign’ claim Buck­ing­hamshire schools re­ceive about £141mil­lion less ev­ery year than coun­ter­parts in West­min­ster, in Lon­don, de­spite the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties cater­ing for the same num­ber of chil­dren.

The ed­u­ca­tors claim that schools are awarded sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent fund­ing per pupil de­pend­ing on where they are based – and stu­dents are suf­fer­ing as a re­sult.

Rus­sell De­nial, prin­ci­ple of Chal­fonts Com­mu­nity Col­lege, in Chal­font St Pe­ter said he has seven fewer teach­ers than this time last years be­cause of cuts.

He told Mir­ror.co.uk: “Buck­ing­hamshire is cru­elly un­der­funded com­pared to some other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

“It is not a level play­ing field and its not fair. We are look­ing at sav­ing ev­ery­where we can and I have had to cut depart­ment bud­gets by 50% this year.

“We had to lose seven teach­ers last year. Ev­ery school should be funded equally.”

All 10 of the best funded school ar­eas in the coun­try are in Lon­don.

West­min­ster, fifth in the UK for fund­ing, is rated as giv­ing its dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren the high­est chance of so­cial mo­bil­ity.

A spokesman for the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion de­scribed the cam­paign’s fig­ures as “thor­oughly mis­lead­ing” and said stan­dards are ris­ing ‘thanks to our re­forms’.

The cal­cu­la­tions ig­nore the fact that un­der our na­tional fund­ing for­mula, fund­ing is based on the needs and char­ac­ter­is­tics of each in­di­vid­ual school,” the depart­ment said in a state­ment.

“We are in­vest­ing an ad­di­tional £1.3 bil­lion in school fund­ing, over and above ex­ist­ing plans, with core schools fund­ing ris­ing from al­most £41 bil­lion in 2017-18 to £43.5 bil­lion in 2019-20.

“There are no cuts in fund­ing.

“Ev­ery school will see an in­crease in fund­ing through the for­mula from this year, and in 2019-20 all sec­ondary schools will at­tract at least £4,800 per pupil, and all pri­mary schools will at­tract at least £3,500 per pupil.”

PHOTO: DAVID JONES/PA WIRE

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