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Open letter to the Prime Minister from the nine London councils most affected by the government's new school funding formula

20 April 2017 in Council and democracy and Education and Mayor
London’s schools have been a remarkable success story and we are proud that over the past decade, substantial educational improvements have been achieved. This is testament to the hard work of our teachers, pupils and parents. However, the Government’s new funding formula is set to punish our schools by slashing their budgets and is in danger of putting the educational outcomes of the most disadvantaged pupils at risk.
​There have been a huge number of reports, studies and comments from across the sector from academics, charities, think tanks, as well as from teachers on the ground, about the detrimental impact this policy is likely to have on our poorest children. We feel compelled as leaders of the local authorities whose schools stand to lose the most (according to the most recent Education Policy Institute  report) to express our concerns.

The Prime Minister has spoken of her desire to enhance social mobility and to create a meritocracy, in which every child has the opportunity to succeed; yet the new funding formula is set to reverse the significant progress that has been made.

The Government’s own Indices of Multiple Deprivation show that the net effect of the formula is to snatch funding from our poorest communities. Under these proposals at least £30 million will be taken from the 30 most deprived local authorities in England. Rather than redistribute money away from some of the poorest pupils in our country, the government should look to replicate London’s success by levelling  up funding elsewhere.

If the Government is to have any credibility on the issue of social mobility, it must protect our pupils, level up funding for other local authorities and  ensure that no school in the poorest local authority areas will be made worse off as a result of its reforms. The Prime Minister must intervene urgently in order to ensure that this formula and her ‘Plan for Britain’ do not inhibit any child’s chance to succeed. 

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council 
Cllr Claire Kober,  Leader of Haringey Council 
Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham
Cllr Peter John OBE, Leader of Southwark Council
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets