More money is spent on poorer pupils because they are now staying in school, says headteacher

More money is spent on poorer pupils because they are now staying in school, says headteacher

Friday, November 2, 2018

Headteacher Chris Dunne has said more money is being spent on poorer students, "simply because they are staying involved" in education. 

Education spending is now skewed towards the poorest pupils in the country because they are staying longer at school, according to an independent report published yesterday. 

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that, while richer children had historically received more overall funding as they were more likely to attend 16-18 education, this gap has now almost entirely vanished. 

Due to higher participation in post-GCSE education and reforms in funding, such as the coalition government’s Pupil Premium Fund, the poorest children in the country now receive a £9500 funding advantage over the richest. 

Mr Dunne told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer that he welcomed the news that more pupils were staying in full-time education. 

He said: “Now the good news is, of course, that everyone is staying on until at least 16 and the vast majority of pupils are staying on until 17 or 18 in full time education, which means automatically that more money is being spent on poorer children simply because they’re staying involved in the education process.”


'Had a reason' to protest

Mr Dunne also said it was important for people to remember that education funding had been “seriously, seriously diminished” since 2010.

“But only three or four months ago the IFS made the devastating case that funding has fallen by 8% since 2010 overall," he said. 

“Those thousands of headteachers, my former colleagues, who turned up in Downing Street to protest that had a reason for being there.”

Almost 2000 headteachers marched on Downing Street to protest the fall in real-terms education funding revealed by the IFS in September. 

Philip Hammond revealed an addition £400 million for schools in the Budget earlier this week, describing it as an: "in-year bonus to help our schools buy the little extras they need; a one-off capital payment directly to schools averaging £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school.”

Reporting by Cormac Connelly-Smith