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Schools with poorer children will get less funding than those in wealthier areas

SCHOOLS whose pupils are from poor families are receiving less funding than those serving wealthier areas and current government policy is make the problem worse, the National Education Union (NEU) has warned.

Funding per pupil is hundreds of pounds less for poor children than for wealthier ones, said the NEU, adding that figures gathered by think tank the Education Policy Institute (EPI) prove the imbalance.

The institute is linked to the Liberal Democrats.

NEU deputy general secretary Avis Gilmore said: “While the government has promised levelling-up in school funding, this EPI report shows that the reverse is happening, with more of the extra funding going to richer areas than to the poorest areas.”

The union’s own research showed last year that schools with students from the poorest families had suffered most under the Conservatives.

“Primary schools serving the most deprived intakes had seen their annual funding per pupil fall on average by £382 in real terms since 2015, compared to £125 for those with the least deprived intakes,” Ms Gilmore said.

“The figures for secondary schools were even greater, with those serving the most deprived intakes losing £509 in real terms per pupil, compared to £117 for those with the least deprived intakes.

“This EPI report shows that the government is increasing that gap, not closing it, through the way it is distributing its 2020 funding increase, with bigger increases going to those schools with fewer disadvantaged students.”

Directing the additional funding available away from students with the greatest need will result in many children “not getting the education they deserve,” warned Ms Gilmore, whose union represents more than 460,000 teachers.

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