Sadiq Khan warns London schools are being 'hammered' amidst fears of £787m budget cuts
PUBLISHED: 12:46 09 December 2015 | UPDATED: 12:46 09 December 2015
Labour's Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan, has urged the government to rethink plans to redistribute funding for London schools to wealthier rural and suburban areas, or risk abandoning the "phenomenal" gains made in the last decade.
He gave the warning on a visit to City Academy in Homerton High Street last Friday.
Under the new ‘fairer funding’ plans put forward in the Spending Review, London boroughs could lose as much as £787 million from their school budgets, while cash is redistributed to other parts of the country.
Figures obtained by Khan’s team from the House of Commons Library suggest Hackney could be the second worst area hit after Tower Hamlets, with a loss of £51m to the budget predicted.
“If you look at the story of Hackney which is a remarkable success story, it now has some of the best schools in the country, and the value that is added to children from deprived backgrounds is phenomenal,” Khan told the Gazette.
“Years ago the government decided to invest in children and spend more monies in deprived areas and City Academy is a cracking example.”
He added: “Education is the ladder upon which people climb for their potential, if schools have made progress with additional investment over the last 10 years and that investment is taken away there is concern that progress will be undone.
“It’s a false economy to cut money from schools like City Academy, they only opened in 2009, last year they began the sixth form and there are now six children being interviewed for Oxbridge.
“The concern is the government has just got it in for London, London is being hammered.”
But a spokesman from the Department for Education dismissed the figures as “misleading” and funding allocated to deprived areas had not been countered in.
He added: “We have never said, or implied, that what we are trying to do is bring everyone to the average.
“We are committed to making funding fairer to address the historic unfairness in the system. The introduction of a national funding formula will mean that every child, no matter where they live in the country will be funded according to need - meaning areas with the highest need will attract the most funding.”
“We intend to consult in the new year and we will not know the impact of any changes on individual areas until we have completed that process. We will phase the changes carefully over time, so that they are fully manageable for LAs and schools.”