Disadvantaged kids in Lambeth hit by government’s “stealth cuts” to education funding

Lambeth schools will miss out on £680,000 of funding for disadvantaged kids after the government has changed the pupil premium policy.

Schools receive £1,345 for every primary age pupil or £955 for every secondary age pupil who claim free school meals to help them with their progress and improve their exam results.

But the government has announced that they will make these calculations from the number of eligible pupils in October 2020, and will not count any pupils that have become eligible since then.

In Lambeth, 592 children have became eligible for free school meals between October 2020 and January 2021, meaning schools across the borough will miss out on an estimated £680,800 in funding.

Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy said: Schools have really been struggling during the pandemic with the added costs of Covid, which they were largely left to meet by themselves.

The Government’s stealth cuts to the pupil premium are quietly leaving children behind and leaving underfunded local schools to pick up the tab.

Sadly, this is pretty typical of the Department for Education’s continued failings during the pandemic.

They had to be shamed into feeding children over the school holidays. It’s clear they will have to be shamed into ensuring disadvantaged children receive the support they need to catch up too.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We are working with parents, teachers and schools to develop a long-term plan to make sure all pupils have the chance to recover from the impact of the pandemic as quickly and fully as possible, and have invested £1.7 billion for this ambitious activity, including high-quality tutoring and summer school provision.

“We have also ensured schools continue accepting applications for free school meals throughout the pandemic, expanded our Holiday Activities and Food Programme to every local authority in England and announced our intention to extend the Breakfast Clubs programme to 2023 – all to support disadvantaged children.”

Pictured top: Bell Ribeiro-Addy visits Streatham Wells Primary School

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