Conservative leadership hopeful Boris Johnson’s claim that school funding in England involves “shocking educational disparities” was rebutted today by the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Tes reports.
Writing in his column in the Daily Telegraph earlier this month, Johnson claimed the Brexit vote had proven some regions of the UK were “left behind”, stating: “It is simply not sustainable that funding per pupil should be £6800 in parts of London and £4200 in some other parts of the country.”
The IFS points out that no such postcode lottery exists. The Department for Education introduced a new funding formula for schools from April 2018, allocating funds to England’s local authorities based on levels of need and cost.
There are some differences in funding per pupil throughout England, the IFS acknowledged, as local authorities receive higher levels of funding if they serve socially deprived areas, or if they have to pay staff salaries based on London weighting.
Mr Johnson also committed to a minimum level of funding for individual secondary schools in England of £5,000 per pupil. The national funding formula already has a minimum spend of £4,800 per pupil, so the cost of an increase to £5,000 would be “relatively small”, the IFS said.
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