Government's funding formula is flawed for deprived areas

21 November 2016 in Council and democracy and Education
Statement from Newham Council   - No school in a deprived area should be worse off as a result of the Government's funding formula.
Newham Council is one of 24 local authorities expressing grave concerns about the impact of the proposed school funding formula on the life chances of our residents. Together we represent 1.4million school children.

Plans to introduce a new formula from 2018/19 follow years of lobbying by the F40 group of local authorities who believe their areas are underfunded. F40 have developed a regressive formula which, if adopted, would see children in England’s 30 most deprived local authority areas face a net loss of £245million, while the 30 least deprived areas gain £218million. Under their plan, the schools we represent would lose £429million.

The Prime Minister has said her aim is to increase social mobility, a cause we all share, and this would be dealt a huge blow if disadvantaged pupils face these devastating cuts – or anything like them. Of course every area needs appropriate funding, but the answer is not to redirect resources away from England’s poorest communities; the Government should instead “level up” by making new resources available for currently underfunded areas.

We are therefore calling on the Prime Minister to adopt the firm principle that no school in a deprived area should be worse off as a result of the formula. This principle is fundamental to making the formula fair, and is vital if we are to tackle injustice in modern Britain.

Finally, we are aware that the leaders of the F40 group have had the privilege to meet ministers and senior officials to discuss this issue. Local authorities affected by these proposals must have the same access, not just a privileged few.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader Bradford Council
Councillor John Clancy, Leader Birmingham City Council
Councillor George Duggins, Leader Coventry City Council
Councillor David Sheard, Leader Kirklees Council
Joe Anderson, Mayor Liverpool City Council
Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader London Borough of Camden
Councillor Doug Taylor, Leader London Borough of Enfield
Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader London Borough of Greenwich
Philip Glanville, Mayor London Borough of Hackney
Councillor Stephen Cowan, Leader London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Councillor Elin Weston, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, London Borough of Haringey
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader London Borough of Hounslow
Councillor Richard Watts, Leader London Borough of Islington
Councillor Lib Peck, Leader London Borough of Lambeth
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor London Borough of Lewisham
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor London Borough of Newham
Councillor Peter John, Leader London Borough of Southwark
John Biggs, Mayor London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Councillor Chris Robbins, London Borough of Waltham Forest
Councillor Hazel Simmons, Leader Luton Council
Sir Richard Leese, Leader Manchester City Council
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader Nottingham City Council
Councillor Chris Read, Leader Rotherham Council