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Disadvantaged Schools: Per Pupil Funding Increase

Volume 664: debated on Monday 9 September 2019

15. What assessment he has made of the benefit to disadvantaged schools of increasing the base unit of per pupil funding to (a) £4,000 in primary schools and (b) £5,000 in secondary schools. (912323)

Minimum per pupil values benefit the historically lowest-funded schools. We recognise that schools with more disadvantaged pupils require additional resources, and the national funding formula and pupil premium allocate additional funding in relation to disadvantaged pupils, so that schools with a higher proportion of disadvantaged pupils are the highest funded.

Pupils in disadvantaged areas are significantly less likely to pass crucial GCSEs such as English and maths. School funding must reflect different needs in different places, but the Government’s recent funding announcement will do exactly the opposite and sees more money going into affluent schools in the south of England while many schools in Bradford South will continue to lose out. How can the Minister justify that disgraceful situation?

Under this settlement, all schools will receive more money, at least in line with inflation, and schools with the highest proportions of children from disadvantaged backgrounds will receive the highest level of funding. Since 2011, we have closed the attainment gap by 9.5% in secondary schools and by 13% in primary schools.[Official Report, 25 September 2019, Vol. 664, c. 8MC.]

I thank the Schools Minister for the particular attention he has given to raising educational attainment in Northamptonshire and welcome the increase in funding for all schools, in particular the 14 primary schools and four secondary schools in Kettering, which have been historically the most underfunded.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his question. It has been a pleasure working with him and other colleagues from Northamptonshire to raise standards of education in the area. I am sure that he and his constituents will be pleased about the funding settlement for schools in Northamptonshire.