ASCL comments on LGA survey on £118 million lost pupil premium funding

21/05/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the LGA’s report that a total of £118 million for disadvantaged pupils could be lost from school budgets in England this year due to a government change in how pupil premium funding is calculated.
 
Commenting on the LGA’s report that a total of £118 million for disadvantaged pupils could be lost from school budgets in England this year due to a government change in how pupil premium funding is calculated, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“The scale of the funding black hole left by the government’s inexplicable decision to push ahead with a change to the way pupil premium funding is calculated at the height of the pandemic is now laid bare in these figures announced by the Local Government Association.
 
“All schools will have seen financial loss as a result of this administrative change but it has been most keenly felt in our primary schools due to the larger amount available per disadvantaged pupil. With budgets already severely stretched by Covid-19, the last thing schools needed was the double whammy of being hit in the pocket in this way.
 
“It was clear from the outset that school budgets would be negatively impacted because the pandemic has particularly badly affected disadvantaged families and has meant the number of children qualifying for pupil premium has grown significantly. Excluding those who qualified for funding between October 2020 and January 2021 has left schools counting the cost.
 
“The government is very keen to promote its levelling up and education recovery agendas and one way it can easily demonstrate its commitment is by ensuring schools are recompensed for the pupil premium funding they have been so cruelly denied.”