Pupils at 119 North Yorkshire schools could get more cash under proposal to boost education funding

More cash would be made available for pupils at 119 schools across North Yorkshire under a proposal to boost education funding, analysis suggests.

Saturday, 31st August 2019, 3:40 pm
Boris Johnson pledged to level up spending for young learners in his first speech as Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson pledged to “level up” spending for young learners in his first speech as Prime Minister.

The policy would see the minimum per pupil funding rise from £3,500 to £4,000 in primary schools, and from £4,800 to £5,000 for secondary students.

But education experts and teaching unions say the promise falls far short of the amount needed to tackle a funding crisis, and would favour the least disadvantaged schools.

Analysis of school funding data by the House of Commons Library shows that, of 305 primary schools in North Yorkshire, 100 currently receive less than £4,000 for each child.

Each student at these schools gets £3,744 on average, meaning they would receive a boost of £256.

The analysis also suggests that 19 of 42 secondaries in North Yorkshire do not currently get £5,000 per pupil, instead seeing an average funding of £4,869 – they would see an increase of £131.

Jon Andrews, deputy head of research at the Education Policy Institute, said the Prime Minister’s drive to even up cash for schools implies that funding should be equal, despite the fact that children’s circumstances and opportunities differ.

He added: “Any attempt to crudely level up funding would disproportionately direct additional funding towards the least disadvantaged schools with the least challenging intakes, at a time when progress in closing the attainment gap has stalled and may be about to go into reverse.”

Andrew Morris, assistant general secretary of the National Education Union, said the pledge falls £8bn short of what is required, with 91% of schools having lost funding since 2015.

A DfE spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister has made clear that we will increase minimum levels of per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools and return education funding to previous levels.

“We will be announcing more details in due course and, until then, any assumptions are purely speculative.”

Article by data reporter Tommy Lumby.