Cuts to school funding will significantly hit pupils across the capital, undermining everything London’s teachers have worked to achieve and damaging London’s reputation as an education leader, according to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
In a keynote address to education leaders and experts from around the globe at his first Education Conference at City Hall, Khan called on the Government to invest in the education sector and increase standards across the country by giving schools the resources to match London’s high overall performance.
70 percent of London schools face reductions in funding under the Government’s new proposals for the national funding formula. This comes alongside the threat of an eight percent shortfall in funding per pupil across the country by 2019-20, as a result of £3 billion worth of cuts.
The capital’s schools are the highest performing in the country, but are already under considerable financial pressure and experiencing severe problems recruiting and retaining teachers due to the expense of living in the capital.
“At a time when our capital’s schools are already dealing with looming budget cuts and struggling to recruit teachers, it is completely unacceptable that the Government has chosen to hit London’s children the hardest,” said Khan.
“As a Mayor for all Londoners, I want to see our young people get the best chance in life possible, with funding going into local schools rather than expanding a selective system. London has reaped the benefits of investment and become an international beacon for education, with a proven track record in supporting disadvantaged pupils. However, these proposals risk undermining everything our excellent teachers have worked to achieve.”
London Councils, who represent the 33 boroughs in London, estimates £335m extra would ensure no school across the whole of England loses out in the new formula.
“When the impact of introducing the new formula and wider cost pressures are taken into account, every school in the capital will face budget squeezes in the years ahead. The consequences of poorly-funded schools will reverberate across the capital and affect all Londoners, which is why we are pressing Government to review its stance on schools funding,” said Cllr Claire Kober OBE, Chair of London Councils.
The recent publication of the Mayor’s Education Annual Report describes the success of London schools in supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils. However, the report details how inequality is still an issue for many London children, and how improving education in the early years is key to tackling this.
It also outlines the Mayor’s pledge to work with schools and colleges to focus on careers and high quality apprenticeships, particularly helping girls and pupils from minority backgrounds into the science, engineering and technology sectors.