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Pupils at 19 Redbridge schools could get more cash under proposal to boost education funding

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 September 2019

Schools in Redbridge could receive more funding under new proposals to boost cash for pupils. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images

Schools in Redbridge could receive more funding under new proposals to boost cash for pupils. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images

Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images

More cash would be made available for pupils at 19 schools in Redbridge under a proposal to boost education funding, analysis suggests.

Prime minister Boris Johnson pledged to "level up" spending for young learners in his first speech as prime minister in July.

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 50 primary schools in Redbridge, 19 currently receive less than £4,000 for each child.

Each student at these schools gets £3,882 on average, meaning they would receive a boost of £118.

Councillor Elaine Norman, Redbridge Council's cabinet member for children and young people, said: "Any additional funding to support our schools is welcomed given the current budget pressures and growing demand placed on them.

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"However this funding will only help a fraction of our schools and for years the government has failed to adequately respond to the cost pressures facing schools.

"Therefore more must be done, especially to meet the demand of rising numbers of children and young people with special educational needs and the rising costs of providing the support that our young people need."

Primary schools which could benefit from the pledge are St Antony's Catholic Primary School, Our Lady Of Lourdes Rc Primary School, Clore Tikva School, Nightingale Primary School, Gearies Primary School, Churchfields Junior School, Redbridge Primary School, Aldersbrook Primary School, Wells Primary School, Churchfields Infants' School, William Torbitt Primary School, Parkhill Junior School, St Bede's Catholic Primary School, Wanstead Church School, and Fairlop Primary School.

Councils, which receive the cash, are not currently required to pass these minimum amounts on to schools, so they could actually get less.

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

He added: "This analysis shows that [the prime minister's] pledge would give more than half of schools no extra money at all.

"He has also ignored special educational needs, early years and post-16 education and all the extra costs such as pensions contributions that his Government is heaping onto schools."

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."

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