General, HP, Investing in our schools, Surrey County Council

Surrey schools within five miles of London lose out on £30million

Half of Surrey children go to school within five miles of a London borough – and miss out on £30million funding compared to pupils in the capital.

Surrey receives £450 less per pupil from the Government than the average for London boroughs bordering the county even though schools either side of the boundary serve virtually identical communities and face similar challenges.

Figures from Surrey County Council show that half of Surrey’s 137,900 pupils aged four to 16 go to school within five miles of a London borough boundary.

If they were funded at the same rate as the average of those boroughs, Surrey would receive an additional £30.8million each year.

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. The seven London boroughs bordering the county received an average of £4,748 per pupil – £446 more than Surrey.

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.

“Our figures highlight the unfairness of the current system – half of Surrey’s pupils go to school within five miles of a London borough boundary and if they were funded at the same rate as the average of the boroughs they border, we would have an extra £30million-a-year to spend.

“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. We don’t expect that scheme to be fully up and running for at least three years so we’re pressing for the fairest possible deal for Surrey in the meantime.”

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