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.
Surrey County Council is calling on the Department for Education to end the unfairness so its schools aren’t out of pocket.
Under the current system, Surrey received £4,302 per pupil in Government funding this year – significantly less than London boroughs bordering the county.
Hounslow, for example, received £5,198 per pupil, Croydon £4,856, Hillingdon £4,873, Sutton £4,670 and Richmond £4,503.
It means that:
· Surrey received £896 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 £554 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 £201 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 fund schools in a fairer way.
“The new national funding system the Government is planning must recognise the pressures on schools close to London borough boundaries which have pupils with similar needs and are competing for the same teachers but with smaller budgets. That scheme won’t be fully up and running for at least three years so we’re pressing for the fairest possible deal for Surrey in the meantime.”