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The News Line: News Poorest children hit the hardest by education cuts NUT/CPAG research confirms that schools with the poorest children will be hit hardest by the May government’s school funding proposals


The research using DfE data, has confirmed that schools with the poorest children face much greater cuts in funding per pupil than schools generally under the Tory government’s National Funding Formula (NFF) proposals.

Analysis of Department for Education (DfE) data published on the www.schoolcuts.org.uk website has already shown that 99% of schools in England will receive less money per pupil in real terms even after the implementation of the proposed NFF.

Basing the analysis on the government’s IDACI (income deprivation affecting children) Index, the primary schools with the most deprived pupils will lose £519 per pupil on average, while the most deprived secondary schools will lose £757 per pupil. This compares to only £355 per pupil for the least deprived primary schools and £476 per pupil for the least deprived secondary schools.

Based on the incidence of pupils receiving free school meals (FSM), the primary schools with most children on FSM will lose £530 per pupil on average compared to £351 for the primary schools with fewest pupils on FSM. For secondary schools, the corresponding figures are £794 and £524 respectively.

Finally, based on the incidence of pupils receiving free school meals during the past six years (FSM6), the primary schools with the most such pupils will lose £550 per pupil on average compared to £342 for the primary schools with the fewest such pupils. For secondary schools, the corresponding figures are £853 and £533 respectively.

NUT general secretary Kevin Courtney said: ‘Wilfully pressing ahead with funding changes that would disadvantage the poorest pupils without finding additional funding would be scandalous.’
He added: ‘Money has to be found for our schools. Failure to do so will be catastrophic for society.’

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group said: ‘The new funding formula risks entrenching disadvantaged children in hardship. Currently nine children in every classroom live under the poverty line. Their poverty will be the strongest statistical predictor of how those children do at school. A policy that takes disproportionately more from their schools, than from schools in better off areas, can surely have no place in a country, and an education system, that works for everyone.’

• Any move to increase the state pension age has been rejected by representatives at the Annual Conference of the NASUWT teachers’ union in Manchester. They have strongly argued against any further rise beyond the level already set of 68.

Representatives spoke of the devastating impact which government changes to pensions since 2011 have had on the value of teachers’ pensions and on teachers’ future entitlement to a decent quality of life in retirement.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: ‘The NASUWT will continue to argue against any increase in the state pension age and for workers’ right to a decent retirement.’
 
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