As speculation grows that Chancellor George Osborne is poised to announce a school funding shake-up, Surrey County Council is pressing for a fairer deal for schools within 10 miles of London borough boundaries.
Surrey schools close to London are being penalised to the tune of millions of pounds in funding compared to schools in the capital – even though they may be less than a mile apart and face the same challenges.
These schools are often just streets apart and serve virtually identical communities but London boroughs bordering Surrey receive up to £900 more per pupil in funding from the Government.
Ahead of the Chancellor’s Spending Review on Wednesday 25 November, Surrey County Council is calling on the Government to end the unfairness so its schools aren’t out of pocket.
It is pressing for a fairer deal for schools within 10 miles of London boroughs because they face similar pressures and have pupils with similar needs.
Under the current system, Surrey received £4,301 per pupil in Government funding this year – significantly less than London boroughs bordering the county.
Hounslow, for example, received £5,203 per pupil, Croydon £4,829, Hillingdon £4,824, Sutton £4,670 and Richmond £4,499.
It means that:
- Surrey received £902 less per pupil for Spelthorne School than Hounslow got for children at Feltham Hill Infants even though the two schools are just a mile apart
- Surrey got £528 less per pupil for children at Hamsey Green Primary than Croydon received for pupils at Kenley Primary but the two schools are just 1,278 yards apart (0.7 of a mile)
- Surrey got £198 less per pupil for children at Hurst Park Primary than Richmond received for pupils at Hampton Infants even though the schools are just 1,404 yards apart (0.8 of a mile)
Linda Kemeny, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Educational Achievement, said: ‘We do all we can to move funds around so we give more help to pupils in disadvantaged areas but our ability to do this is limited because we receive hundreds of pounds less per pupil across the board than London boroughs bordering the county.
‘The current system gives greater support for pupils in Hounslow and Hillingdon than pupils just over the border, say, in Stanwell which is why we are calling on the Government to recognise a 10-mile radius around London borough boundaries when it hands out school funding.’