Laura Sharman 07 August 2020

‘Levelling up’ school funding benefits wealthier student

The government’s policy of ‘levelling’ up school funding will benefit wealthier pupils the most, according to the Education Policy Institute (EPI).

New analysis by the EPI shows that the policy will give more money to schools that historically had lower funding, despite these typically serving more affluent areas.

It also warns that the Teacher Pay Grant is linked to pupil numbers and not the costs facing schools, ignoring that schools in more challenging circumstances tend to employ more teachers.

The report concludes: ‘Even before the extraordinary circumstances that schools have faced in 2020 there was emerging evidence that the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers was at risk of widening. The crisis is likely to have increased that risk and the challenge of narrowing the gap just got harder.

’The government’s approach to funding does not appear to be taking that challenge seriously.’

A Department for Education spokesperson said schools are receiving a £2.6bn boost in funding this year.

The spokesperson said: 'The funding formula continues to target funding to schools which have the greatest numbers of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing £6.4bn in funding for pupils with additional needs, representing 17% of the formula’s total funding.

'Schools which have been historically underfunded will also receive the greatest increase as every child deserves a superb education - regardless of which school they attend, or where they happen to grow up - with our £1bn Covid catch up package on top of this, levelling up opportunities for every young person up and down the country.'

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