Funding cuts will strip London schools of their social mobility success

Jo Dibb, a London head teacher writing in the Guardian, says that unless extra funding is put into the system, schools in inner-London and other cities are likely to lose out and this will undermine the work they have done to address social mobility.

When Nicky Morgan announced a consultation on the new school funding formula, she promised to create a system that would ensure “all children – whatever their background and wherever they live in the country – get a great education.” For headteachers in London and other inner-city areas, there’s a fear this promise will not be fulfilled…

… unless enough extra money is put into the system, schools in inner-London and other cities are likely to lose out…

Yes, some of the funding London schools have received may well have supported smaller class sizes and more textbooks but, more importantly, it has allowed us to replicate some of the experiences which make independent schools so successful … Schools offering an enrichment programme are often the ones that have been most successful in closing the gap between the rich and the poor…

In recent years, the government has determined which factors may be used by local authorities to allocate funds and this has given us a taste of the turbulence we might expect in the future. One such example is the use of a postcode-based indicator of deprivation instead of entitlement to free school meals….Free school meals isn’t a perfect indicator of poverty, but it is a far more reliable one than postcode in our context.

The removal of mobility as a determining factor for funding could also have a huge impact: young people who, through no fault of their own, have attended a number of different schools need extra help, and this costs money. This is an issue which affects many inner-London schools.

The ability to allocate funding to meet local needs is critical in terms of improving outcomes for students…

We do not yet have the detail of the proposals, but what we do know is that without significant extra funding, there will be winners and losers: London and other urban areas are set to be among the losers…

More at Funding cuts will strip London schools of their social mobility success


It is going to be very tough for schools that lose out, but the situation is also not fair now on many other schools who have been receiving lower funding to date.

What do you think of the points made here and, if you feel your schools has been hard done by compared, for example, to those in London, do you see things differently?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


Scottish Conservatives defend plans to end free university tuition
Investigation launched into claims Jewish school defied closure order
Categories: Policy and Uncategorized.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Do they mean it will level the playing field for all schools? Schools elsewhere have been slated for not emulating London

  2. Mktadvice4schls

    SchoolsImprove surely the ‘London effect’ wasn’t just about better funding? If it was can the rest of the country have an apology?

  3. peterabarnard

    Mktadvice4schls SchoolsImprove It was mainly about a changing social landscape plus great investment…kids wanting to learn

  4. Mktadvice4schls

    peterabarnard SchoolsImprove …and funding 50% above rest of country? (See how little my LA (Trafford) gets!)

  5. peterabarnard

    Mktadvice4schls SchoolsImprove …it works…! Money given to schools works better than money given with strings attached. I wonder why..?

  6. Mktadvice4schls

    peterabarnard SchoolsImprove am looking forward to seeing great improvements in the North when we get fair funding!

  7. peterabarnard

    Mktadvice4schls SchoolsImprove You’ve touched my heart strings…I’ll give free training in VT / leadership to any LT or Trafford school!

  8. iandewes

    I think the extensive debate over the last few years about how London has has achieved higher standards shows it is not just about money; many factors are at work.

  9. idontbelieveit!

    Even If the overall pot of funding remains the same, although in real terms it is reducing, the sharing out of the funding is going to have much more of a detrimental affect on the children in the deprived areas than the expected improvements for all. So, rather than addressing the issue, the government’s answer is to share out ever increasing funding so that everyone gets the same, regardless of need. Presumably when the standard of education drops in these areas it will be the schools’ fault once again.

  10. Mktadvice4schls SchoolsImprove The ‘London’ effect has been attributed to the London Challenge supported by funding, a greater proportion of hard-working, high-achieving children of immigrants and improvements in primary schools working through to secondary.

  11. DeenTutors

    SchoolsImprove NickyMorgan01 and the Chancellor to look in to this and take appropriate action; but don’t hold your breath.

  12. andrew_1910

    SchoolsImprove For years, Con govs have denied link btw money, smaller classes & success. Now they’ll have some awkward data.

Let us know what you think...