Constituencies League Table for School Funding in England

Today the National Education Union publishes a ‘league table’ of underfunding for schools, showing what is at stake constituency-by-constituency in this General Election. It underscores the deep damage being done to England’s schools.

Schools are continuing to be forced to make further cuts in provision this term, as the Government’s announcement on school funding does not begin to introduce new money until April next year.

Even then, under Boris Johnson’s funding plans:

  • 83% of schools will have less money per pupil in April 2020, in real terms, than they had in 2015.
  • Children in 146 out of 149 local authorities will still be losing out compared with 2015.

The Prime Minister's planned "levelling up" of funding falls badly short of what is needed. Today’s analysis by the NEU shows that the vast majority of constituencies will still be worse off in real-terms next April compared with 2015.

  • There are just 18 out of 533 Parliamentary constituencies where per-pupil funding will be above its 2015 level in real terms.
  • Of these 18 constituencies, 13 are Conservative-held. One is held by Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset).
  • The worst hit constituency (Dulwich and West Norwood) faces a -£782 real-terms per-pupil funding loss in April 2020 compared to 2015.  By contrast, York Outer, which is set to benefit most, will see a £138 gain.
  • Of the 100 worst-hit constituencies, 77 are Labour-held.
  • No member of Boris Johnson’s cabinet appears in the bottom 100. In the bottom half of the league table (266 and below), 12 appear. Of this dozen, only four chart less well than the Prime Minister (at 178) – Esther McVey (110), Liz Truss (123), Alok Sharma (128) and Brandon Lewis (163).
  • 46 constituencies face a -£500 or more loss in per-pupil funding in April 2020 when compared with 2015. Of these, over three-quarters (36) are Labour-held – including shadow cabinet members Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington), Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras), Dawn Butler (Brent Central), Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington) and Barry Gardiner (Brent North).
  • Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) is at 96 on the list, with a per-pupil loss of -£398.
  • 9 out of 10 Birmingham constituencies are amongst the 100 worst hit, with Sutton Coldfield at 136. Collectively, Birmingham is the worst-hit city in England: 99% of Birmingham’s schools have a shortfall in funding, and 89% face further real-terms cuts in April 2020. The number of children on free school meals is twice the national average. Labour backbencher Jess Phillips, who has been involved in protests by parent groups who have seen reductions to their child’s school week, is at 33 on the list. Her constituents in Birmingham, Yardley face a -£527 loss per child, when compared to 2015 in real terms.

Commenting on our latest analysis, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“School leaders are once again faced with the prospect of making impossible decisions just to keep afloat. Boris Johnson’s promises on school funding will not fix the roof – it is too little, too late. Schools need a significant funding increase now, not the dribs and drabs promised from April 2020. Schools are losing support staff, dropping subjects, closing early, and cutting corners on basic maintenance, just to get by. These are not ‘little extras’.

“Our constituency league table should send shockwaves through the country. The future of education hangs in the balance. We need real solutions and in this General Election we implore voters to scrutinise manifesto commitments closely.

“If you value education, you must vote education.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to National Education Union analysis on school funding, said:

“Teachers and parents cannot trust Boris Johnson and his rapidly unravelling empty promises. It is now clear that Johnson has failed to keep his pledge to reverse the Tories’ education cuts, let alone match Labour’s plans to invest in a National Education Service.

“Boris Johnson’s Conservatives will only ever look after the privileged few – that is why pupils and schools in disadvantaged areas have quite deliberately been denied the extra funding they need, entrenching not tackling inequality.

"A Labour government will fully reverse Tory cuts and give our schools the funding they need to ensure every child gets a good education."

Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Education Layla Moran said:

“These figures reveal how the Conservatives are failing the next generation. Schools are already struggling to cope with catastrophic budget cuts, with headteachers having to ask parents for donations for basic resources like paper and textbooks. This chronic underfunding is only set to get worse, denying children up and down the country the opportunity to realise their full potential.

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“Only the Liberal Democrats can deliver the funding our schools so desperately need. We have a plan to stop Brexit and invest £10 billion of the Remain bonus into our schools, giving every child the best possible start in life."

Super Saturdays

During the General Election the National Education Union will be holding a series of Super Saturday events explaining the facts about education funding.

The first two are in Chipping Barnet and Kensington.

Chipping Barnet

Leafletting from 11am-1pm followed by speeches at St John the Baptist Church, Chipping Barnet, Church House, 2 Wood St, Barnet EN5 4BW until 2pm.

Speakers include NEU National Officer Robin Bevan.

https://actionnetwork.org/events/super-saturday-in-chipping-barnet/

Kensington

Leafletting from 11am-1pm followed by speeches at The Tabernacle, 34-35 Powis Square, Notting Hill, London W11 2AY until 2pm

Speakers include NEU Joint General Secretary Kevin Courtney.

https://actionnetwork.org/events/super-saturday-in-kensington/

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“It is so important that voters know the problems that schools face due to a lack of funding. We have gained concessions from Government, but they go nowhere near far enough. If head teachers have any hope of halting the cutting of staff, the increase in class sizes, or addressing the disrepair of school buildings, then all political parties need to pledge to address this problem with sufficient funding.

“Now is not the time for spin. The purpose of our Super Saturday meetings is to give the facts and ensure that informed choices can be made at the ballot box to ensure the best possible education system for our children. Our message is that if you value education, then you must vote for education”

Forthcoming Super Saturdays will visit:

16 November: Canterbury, Hastings and Rye, Southampton Itchen, Stevenage, Thurrock

23 November: Dudley North, Ashfield, Northampton North

30 November: Camborne and Redruth, Crewe and Nantwich, Bolton West, Newcastle under Lyme,

7 December: Keighley, Pudsey, Hull West, Barrow and Furness, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

We compared income per pupils in 2015/16 (at 2019/20 prices) with income per pupil for 2020/21. Note that pupil numbers have changed in the interim, as well as inflation. All data is derived from Government sources: the methodology and all the data is publicly available here.

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