Will Forster

Lib Dem Councillor for South Woking and Leader of the Lib Dems on Surrey County Council Learn more

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Government cutting over £1 million from pupil premium in Surrey

by willforster on 2 June, 2021

Schools across Surrey are set to lose £1.1 million in funding for the most disadvantaged pupils in the county following the Government’s decision to alter the method of calculating pupil premium funding.

The pupil premium, which aims to close the attainment gap by providing extra money to pupils eligible for free school meals, was a flagship reform introduced by the Lib Dems in Government in 2011.

Yesterday, I asked a question at Surrey County Council’s Cabinet meeting about this – and the Council confirmed that Surrey schools will lose funding for 900 pupils totalling £1.1 million as a result of the decision to base the funding on a school’s pupil numbers in October rather than January as previously calculated.

I think this decision shows the priorities of the Conservatives that at a time where the attainment gap is widening and children from disadvantaged backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, that they would seek to cut Surrey’s pupil premium.

The Lib Dems introduced the pupil premium and have had to fight the Tories to keep it properly funded.  Given the financial pressure that families are under, this change has real potential to cause harm and will have a direct impact on the quality of education schools can provide for those who are in desperate need of more, not less, support.

Over the last year, schools have been forced to adapt at short notice to ensure we continue to provide the best possible learning environment for their pupils.  They have done their best with the resources they had to ensure pupil premium children get the best support that schools can give them.  Hampering their ability to do that with this cut is infuriating and is not fair on the children who need extra support.

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