DfE research reveals disparities in school funding postcode “lottery”

The TES is reporting that DfE research has revealed a vast disparity in education funding for pupils with special needs depending on where they live.

A study asked local authorities how much money they would allocate to support a hypothetical pupil, and the answer varied dramatically from a minimum of £2,000 to a maximum of £25,000.

Sue Baldwin, director of the academies and maintained schools group at the Education Funding Agency, highlighted the research… showed that “the case is made for change” to the school funding system and a new national funding formula.

“You get situations where pupils with identical needs are being awarded very different top-up funding,” she said. The report by the Isos Partnership tested this concern in a series of hypothetical cases.

“Let’s take one case [of] Peter, a four year old child with autism, severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviour,” Ms Baldwin said.

“Twelve local authorities were talked to about this child and what they would do. Every single one of them would put this child Peter into a special school but the range of top-up funding that that child would attract for the school was between £2,000 and £25,000.”

“This is the magnitude of the variation that we’re facing and clearly such a lottery in that sense has to be tackled…”

More at Massive disparities in school funding postcode “lottery” revealed by DfE research


Read or download the report in full:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://4cpa373vsw6v3t1suthjdjgv-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/DFE-RR492_16_to_19_funding_for_students_with_additional_needs.pdf”]


Were you aware this was going on? Are you surprised?

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Categories: Local authorities, Policy, Primary and Secondary.


  1. Julie_Cordiner

    That isn’t the right report – there is a different one if you follow the link to the article which covers pre 16 as well.

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