Dorset schools could get up to £445 more per pupil

Dorset schools could get up to £445 more per pupil

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 31st August 2019.

Per pupil funding could increase to £5,000 for Dorset schools under proposed government changes to school funding.

Boris Johnson's new policy proposal would see minimum per pupil funding rise from £3,500 to £4,000 in primary schools and from £4,800 to £5,000 for secondary pupils.

At the moment 57% of primary schools and 61% of secondary schools in the county receive less than the Prime Minister is suggesting as the new minimum level.

Schools in Dorchester, Weymouth or Bridport that stand to gain under new funding policy

But education experts and teaching unions say the promise falls far short of the amount needed to tackle a funding crisis, and would favour the least disadvantaged schools.

Which Dorset schools could get more funding?

The primary schools in Dorchester, Weymouth or Bridport that stand to gain currently get the following amounts per pupil: 

  • Chickerell Primary Academy: (£3,500)
  • Bridport Primary School: (£3,518)
  • Manor Park Church Of England First School: (£3,552)
  • Radipole Primary School: (£3,576)

And these are the secondary schools: 

  • Dorchester Middle School: (£4,050)
  • St Mary's Church Of England Middle School, Puddletown: (£4,050)
  • St Osmund's Church Of England Middle School, Dorchester: (£4,050)
  • Budmouth College: (£4,850)

74 primary schools in Dorset currently receive less than £4,000 for each child, shown by analysis from the House of Commons Library.

Each student at these schools gets £3,704 on average, meaning they would receive a boost of £296.

The analysis also suggests 19 secondaries in Dorset do not currently get £5,000 per pupil, instead seeing an average funding of £4,555 – they would see an increase of £445.

Schools in Dorset could see a boost in per pupil funding up to £4,000 for primary schools, and £5,000 for secondaries.
Schools in Dorset could see a boost in per pupil funding up to £4,000 for primary schools, and £5,000 for secondaries.

Should all schools get the same?

Jon Andrews, deputy head of research at the Education Policy Institute, said the Prime Minister’s drive to even up cash for schools implies that funding should be equal, despite the fact that children’s circumstances and opportunities differ. He added:

"Any attempt to crudely level up funding would disproportionately direct additional funding towards the least disadvantaged schools with the least challenging intakes, at a time when progress in closing the attainment gap has stalled and may be about to go into reverse.”

Andrew Morris, assistant general secretary of the National Education Union, said the pledge falls £8bn short of what is required, with 91% of schools having lost funding since 2015. He added:

“This analysis shows that [the Prime Minister's] pledge would give more than half of schools no extra money at all.

“He has also ignored special educational needs, early years and post-16 education and all the extra costs such as pensions contributions that his Government is heaping onto schools."

A DfE spokesperson said:

“The Prime Minister has made clear that we will increase minimum levels of per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools and return education funding to previous levels.

“We will be announcing more details in due course and, until then, any assumptions are purely speculative.”

Some schools in nearby local authority areas may appear in the data for Dorset due to recent boundary changes.