Mayor Sir Robin Wales is proud of local schools but is worried about the funding cuts

PUBLISHED: 10:51 01 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:51 01 February 2017


It’s fantastic news that Newham’s 11-year-olds are making the best progress in the country in terms of writing, and are in the top ten nationally across a range of government indicators that measure their performance during primary school.

Their Key Stage 2 results demonstrate how well our schools are doing in delivering improvements in education. I congratulate all the staff and pupils for their continued hard work.

Newham will continue to support all our schools to help them improve standards even further. That will involve standing up to proposed funding cuts to school budgets that could jeopardise the futures of our young people.

A number of local authorities from affluent areas have been campaigning for many years for a new funding formula that would cut support to deprived areas.

Their plans would have seen our schools lose more than £30million.

In November I led a group of 23 local authorities in writing to the prime minister demanding that no school in a deprived area be worse off as a result of the new formula. We also called for pupil mobility to be included in recognition of the high turnover of students in our schools. For example, 17 per cent of Newham students who sat GCSEs last year did not sit examinations here at Key Stage 2. Evidence shows mobility costs London schools £35million per year.

The government have now published their plans in full, and heeded our call to add a pupil mobility factor. While total cuts are lower than we feared, Newham schools are still set to lose about £8m if the final formula is fully implemented. Most schools will lose 1.4pc of their funding in the first year, rising to about 3pc.

These cuts are wrong and risk setting back the tremendous achievements of our pupils, parents and schools. Education enables children in Newham to achieve their aspirations. That’s why we will continue to stand up and fight against this. More from Sir Robin

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