Funding inequality must be redressed, says schools charity

Chancellor George Osborne at Baileys in Alnwick. Picture by Jane Coltman
Chancellor George Osborne at Baileys in Alnwick. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Government has a ‘moral obligation’ to redress school-funding inequality that is stifling pupil progress in the North East, according to a leading education charity director.

Current funding arrangements see schools in the region receive £45.6million less each year than the national average.

Northumberland receives £4,551 per pupil, compared to a national average of £4,732 and £8,595 in the City of London.

The Government this week started a national consultation that will form the basis of a new funding formula for all schools, for which the initial plans were announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement last year.

The Department for Education is expected to give every school a basic amount per pupil which will be topped up with a payment based on additional needs, such as deprivation; school costs, such as extra costs related to serving rural communities; and area costs that will make sure more funding goes to the areas with the highest costs.

Mike Parker, director of Schools NorthEast, said that the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan ‘has a moral obligation to target funding at the point of greatest need’.

He added: “Schools NorthEast strongly welcomes the decision to develop a national funding formula that irons out inconsistencies, but only on the basis that the balance of spending is targeted where it will have the greatest impact.”