The government’s efforts to “raise” education funding have led to a reduction in funding for the poorest schools, Whitehall The expenditure watchdog has been found.
This National Audit Office (NAO) stated that since the introduction of the state funding scheme for England, resources have been “relatively redistributed” to schools in wealthier areas.
In contrast, it stated that since 2017-18, government funding for nearly 60% of the poorest schools has actually decreased.
Although schools in poorer areas continue to receive more support than schools in wealthier areas of the country, Do not Indicates that the gap is narrowing, and questioned whether the formula will lead to a fair distribution of resources.
The results of the investigation may be embarrassing Boris Johnson Shortly after entering Downing Street in July 2019, he announced an increase in funding based on the formula, with the purpose of “raising the level of education funding so that all young people have the same chance of success.”
The formula was first introduced in 2018-19 and set a minimum level of funding for each student, but since most schools with high levels of poverty have received funding above the minimum threshold, they have not seen any increase.
However, according to this formula, more than one-third (37.1%) of the poorest-fifth schools have indeed seen growth. In total, in 2020-21, an additional £266 million was allocated to 3,150 schools—not in the poorest fifth.
NAO stated that since 2017-18, the average per-student funding of the poorest quintile of schools has actually fallen by 1.2% to 5,177 pounds, while the per capita funding of the poorest quintile of schools has actually fallen by 2.9 % To 4,471 pounds.
In cities with high levels of poverty, such as Nottingham and Birmingham, and most of London’s boroughs, wages have decreased, while local authorities with relatively low levels of poverty in the Southwest, East Midlands and Southeast have increased by about 1%.
Overall, 58.3% of the fifth-poorest schools had actual funding cuts per student, including 83.6% of Inner London schools.
Although the overall funding comes from Ministry of Education (DfE) The cost to the school has increased from £36.2 billion in 2014-15 to £43.4 billion in 2020-21. The increase in the number of students means that the actual terms per student have increased by only 0.4%.
At the same time, the Ministry of Education estimates that between 2015-16 and 2019-20, the cost pressure of schools exceeded the funding increase by £2.2 billion, mainly due to rising staff costs.
NAO Director Gareth Davies said: “The Ministry of Education has achieved its goals, even if it distributes school funds more transparently and consistently. However, it is not clear whether it has achieved its goal of fair distribution of funds.
“Although poor areas and schools continue to receive more subsidies per student compared with areas and schools with lower levels of poverty, the funding gap has narrowed.
“The department must assess whether this funding model matches the required resources.”