Sefton Council bosses claim pupils ‘will miss out’ as school spending per pupil in England ‘is lower than it was in 2010.’
Cllr Diane Roscoe, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education has criticised a change in the way the Government allocates Pupil Premium Funding, which is based on the number of children eligible for free school meals.
Cllr Roscoe wrote to the Secretary of State for Education in May to highlight how Sefton’s schools would lose out on almost £800,000 but received ‘no satisfactory response’.
According to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, in 2019/2020, school spending in England was just over £6,500 per pupil. In real terms, this is 9% lower than in 2009-10.
The Government’s decision to base how it calculates Pupil Premium Funding on the number of children entitled to free school meals at each school in October last year rather than January this year, is likely to mean schools in the most deprived 10% of areas in England will lose out on cash.
This is because schools in these areas are likely to enrol more than twice the number of pupils eligible for free school meals as those with the lowest levels of deprivation.
Cllr Roscoe said: “It is widely acknowledged that many young people’s education has been severely disrupted and particularly in areas such as Sefton where the effects of Covid-19 have been most severe.
“This lack of overall funding and change to the allocation of Pupil Premium Funding means that pupils attending our schools will have a much harder time catching up with lost learning.
“This is despite the Prime Minister’s claim of a levelling up agenda for poorer parts of the country in the wake of the pandemic.”