DfE consultation on school funding simply completes the redistribution of school funding from poorer areas to better-off areas.

Commenting on the launch of a consultation by the Department for Education, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“This consultation on school funding is simply completing the Government’s aim of redistributing school funding from poorer areas to better-off areas.

“As the National Audit Office has found, over the last few years there has been ‘relative re-distribution of funding from the most deprived schools to the least deprived schools’. This inequitable exercise has taken place at a time of rising poverty and children from more disadvantaged backgrounds missing more school as a result of the pandemic.

“If the Government wants to achieve fair funding for schools, it must also find additional funding for schools. It is simply impossible to redistribute funding fairly if the funding is insufficient and some schools’ funding is reduced in order to increase the funding for others.

“The Government must also ensure transparency of funding within multi-academy trusts (MATs). While there are strict rules on how local authorities distribute funding among their schools, there are no controls on how MATs distribute funding among their schools. They do not even have to tell parents how they are distributing that funding. MATs are now in charge of the majority of secondary schools and almost half of primary schools, so proposals which ignore transparency of funding for these schools are meaningless.”

ENDS

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