Colville school

London schools ‘excessively penalised’ by new funding proposals

16 March 2017

Current funding proposals appear to be designed to excessively penalise London’s schools.  That’s the verdict of the London Assembly Education Panel in its response [1] to the Department for Education (DfE’s) second stage consultation on the National Funding Formula.  Not taking into account the true cost of operation for London’s schools will inevitably lead to reductions in funding.

Over 70 per cent of schools will lose funding under the proposed National Funding Formula.  This is in addition to the 8 per cent cut in per-pupil funding which all schools will face by 2020, due to rising costs such as inflation, national insurance and pension contributions.  While schools in Inner London stand to lose the most, every borough will see schools affected by these pressures.

The response also points out that despite improvements in recent years, over 40 per cent of London children are leaving primary school unprepared for secondary school.

London’s young people need to be able to compete in a global labour market. This is even more apparent when considering the challenges and opportunities posed by leaving the European Union, as the UK looks to re-position itself in the global economy.

Jennette Arnold OBE AM, Chair of the Education Panel said:

“In 2006, London was the worst performing region at both secondary and primary level. Now, students in the capital are achieving the best GCSE results in the country. This remarkable transformation was driven by a number of factors, and funding levels was one of them.

We cannot allow our schools to return to those dark days, particularly when there is still more work to be done. Our schools should not be punished for their success. Over 40 per cent of London’s children are leaving primary school not fully ready for secondary school and the disadvantage gap in the capital is widening, with white, black and mixed pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds being affected the most.

While we recognise the need for greater transparency and accountability in how schools are funded, introducing a new National Funding Formula that strips money out of London will endanger the success of our schools, weaken the drive to boost productivity and undermine the Government’s objective to ensure that every child has the best start possible in life.”

Notes to editors

  1. Read the Education Panel National Funding Formula consultation response.
  2. To inform the response, the Panel heard from experts representing the National Head Teachers Association (NHTA), the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and London Councils.
  3. Jennette Arnold OBE AM, Chair of the Education Panel is available for interview. See contact details below.
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.