Schools set to lose out on thousands for disadvantaged pupils

Schools set to lose out on thousands for disadvantaged pupils

Schools across Wigan Borough will miss out on more than £500k of funding, due to the way the government allocates money for disadvantaged children.

Publicly funded schools in England get extra Pupil Premium funding from the Government to help them improve the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils. It amounts to £1,345 a year for every eligible primary age pupil, or £955 for every eligible secondary age pupil.

However, for the 2021/22 financial year this funding will be based on the October 2020 census of pupils instead of the January 2021 census.

As a result, schools with children who have become eligible for this funding – which pays for free school meals and academic support for the most disadvantaged children - during the pandemic will not receive any additional funding for another whole year.

The move leaves Wigan’s schools short-changed £586k this financial year - £479k for primary and £107k for secondary schools.

Councillor Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for children and young people at Wigan Council, said: “The impact of this calculation will be felt in the most deprived areas including Wigan. This move does not reflect the levelling up agenda and will only widen the gap between the most deprived and the most affluent areas. The pandemic has left many facing financial difficulties, with lots of families losing their income and struggling to put food on the table. Our children deserve and need this additional support.”

The impact of funding will be felt in the more deprived areas. The estimated overall impact across Greater Manchester is £8,674m.

An LGA survey of councils and analysis of government census figures shows that this change could result in:

  • a loss of Pupil Premium funding of around £93 million for primary schools and £25 million for secondary schools;
  • this equates to an average loss of around £600,000 in primary school Pupil Premium funding per local authority area.
Posted on Wednesday 9th June 2021

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