How Doncaster schools get hundreds of pounds less per pupil than other towns

Doncaster's MPs are demanding more cash for borough's schools after it emerged the borough is losing out under an "unfair" formula.

Thursday, 17th May 2018, 11:11 am
Updated Thursday, 17th May 2018, 11:16 am
Concerns have been raised over the money Doncaster gets for its schools

Doncaster's schoolchildren are getting hundreds of pounds less spent on them per pupil than those in most of England's big cities, under new Government rules.

Figures shown to the Free Press reveal that our kids receive £33 below the national average per pupil for school funding. Compared to Britain's big cities, only Sheffield gets less.

And the figure show that compared to each youngster in Doncaster, an extra £660 per pupil is spent on schools in Manchester, and £140 more per pupil is spent on schools Rotherham.

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Doncaster pupils received £512 each less than those in Nottingham, £479 less than those Birmingham, £405 less than they do in Liverpool, £102 less than each pupil in Bristol, and £81 less than they receive in Newcastle.

The figures are for the 2018-19 school year.

The Government said funding is based on pupils' additional needs and is not intended to give the same amount to every pupil.

The Department for Education says the National Funding Formula is to correct historic disparities in the funding system, which involves redistributing funding to historically underfunded areas

Today the borough's MPs and its elected mayor all raised concerns over the figures, and pledged to raise the issue with the Government.

Dame Rosie Winterton, MP for Donaster Central said: “I am very surprised that the new funding formula appears to have disadvantaged Doncaster. I will be raising this with Ministers."

Don Valley MP, Caroline Flint, said: “£33 less per pupil than the national average? The Government has identified Doncaster as a Social Mobility Opportunity Area because of the disadvantage communities face. It is absurd if the underlying funding makes that worse. I will be asking on what basis Doncaster can end up losing out so badly.

”Former Labour leader and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband said: "Its wrong and unfair that Doncaster's children are losing out. Less money for our schools means fewer opportunities for pupils. It's time Government put their money where their mouth is and gave us a fair deal.

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, added: “The Government continues to overlook the importance of education for our young people.

"They are simply not providing enough funding. While we have seen a small increase in funding per pupil in Doncaster through the National Funding Formula (NFF) we are still some way below the average amount areas across the country are set to receive.

"In fact a number of places are set to receive considerably more than us which is unfair. We are working hard to improve education in Doncaster as shown in the bold initiatives we are introducing to help our young people to learn, develop and thrive.

"A fairer distribution of funding would certainly help support our young people so they make the most of their talents and their lives.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Thanks to our reforms and the hard work of teachers 1.9 million more pupils are in good or outstanding schools than in 2010. As a result of our fairer formula, by 2020, core funding will rise to a record £43.5 billion – the highest ever and 50 per cent more per pupil in real terms than in 2000.

“No school in Doncaster will attract less funding through the formula – in fact, schools in the area will attract an increase in funding of 3.6 per cent – equivalent to £6.8m – when the formula is implemented in full.”

Pupils in Doncaster will receive £4,597 per pupil. This compares with a national average of £4,630. The figures £4,598 in Barnsley, £4,604 in Leeds, £4,678 in Newcasle, £4,699 in Bristol, £4,737 in Rotherham, £5,002 in Liverpool, £5,076 in Birmingham, £5,113 in Nottingham ad £5,267 in Manchester.