Westminster Schools are set to lose out on significant funding for their poorest children.
A government change to the way pupil premium money is allocated, using old school census data from October 2020 rather than the more up-to-date figures for January 2021, means schools will now miss out on thousands of pounds. At a Westminster Council Scrutiny meeting on 22nd March one local head teacher, Mark Hewitt, Headteacher, St James and St John CE Primary School in Craven Terrace, outlined the significant £8,000 impact on his school and warned others would be in the same position.
This comes two weeks after five London boroughs wrote to the government complaining, having already established their schools will miss out on millions in expected funding.*
Westminster North MP Karen Buck said:
“Instead of supporting our poorest children in the middle of a pandemic, Conservative ministers seem intent on playing games so schools face even tighter budgets. Using old school census data won’t change the fact that these children exist and that they need this support now more than ever. The end result is Westminster kids miss out.”
Labour education spokesperson Councillor Tim Roca said:
“This sleight of hand by the government means local schools won’t receive the funding they rightly expected. This money is supposed to support some of our most disadvantaged children and makes a real difference in a borough with some of the worst child poverty in London. The Council need to step up and lobby the government to reverse this appalling decision.”
*Ealing, Barking and Dagenham, Hounslow, Lewisham and Merton.