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Northern schools get less funding than those in London, report reveals


Schools in the north of England are losing hundreds of pounds of funding per pupil compared to those in London, according to a report.

Over the past 10 years, continuing inequalities in funding have meant that Northern schools have received on average less National Funding Formula (NFF) money than their Southern counterparts.

Analysis by academics from the Northern Child group for an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) found that, on average, pupils in London received 9.7 per cent more funding than those in the North.

London schools received an average of £6,610 per pupil, compared to £6,225, £5,956 and £5,938 in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and The Humber respectively.

They found that children in the country’s most affluent schools had greater increases in real terms of funding than those in the most disadvantaged, despite the additional pressure placed on schools in poorer areas.

This inequity corresponds to the fact that children in the North have higher school absences, including absences for health and mental health reasons, and poorer educational performance.

The report, titled The Northern Child: Tackling Education and Health Inequality, also highlights that children born into the least wealthy fifth of UK families are almost 13 times more likely to experience poor educational and health outcomes later in life. the age of 17 years.

This has an impact on public services in later years, as the long-term consequences of poor education can place greater pressure on the NHS and criminal justice system.

APPG Child of the North members and the report’s authors called for a review of the current school funding formula.

Kim Johnson, MP for Liverpool Riverside and vice-chair of APPG Child of the North, said: “The findings of this report, which highlights the stark reality of the deepening trend in inequality between children born in the North and their peers of the South They are shocking, but unfortunately they are not surprising.”

The Right Reverend Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, said: “It is shocking, although sadly not surprising, to read about the regional inequalities that Northern children face in our education system.

“There is a great need to re-evaluate our education funding, as well as partner with local schools and organisations, to better meet the needs of children and young people.

“A child’s chances in life should not be limited by their ZIP code.”

James Bowen, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Ultimately the real problem here is inadequate funding for schools generally. It doesn’t matter how you cut the cake if there isn’t enough of it in the first place.

“We’ve lived through a nearly unprecedented 13-year freeze in school funding and that’s why almost every school is feeling the strain.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Since 2010, our reforms have achieved lasting improvement in the quality of education young people in England receive. The overall proportion of schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted has risen from 68 per cent in 2010 to 88 per cent, according to the most recent data. In the northeast, this proportion is even higher, at 90 percent, and in the northwest, 89 percent.

“Overall, funding will reach its highest level in real terms per pupil in 2024-25, as measured by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). We are investing in 55 education investment areas, of which around half are located in the north, where we are implementing a package of measures to drive school improvement and improve student outcomes.

“Before the pandemic, the disadvantage gap narrowed by 9 per cent between 2011 and 2019. To support the education recovery, we are providing £5 billion in additional support for millions of students, including £1.5 billion millions for tutoring.”

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