Levelling up? Deprived schools suffering under National Funding Formula reform

The National Funding Formula (NFF) reforms have led to a real-terms fall in funding for the most deprived schools, while the least deprived are better off.

Average per-pupil funding fell in real terms by 1.2 per cent for the most deprived fifth of schools but increased by 2.9 per cent for the least deprived fifth thanks to the Department for Education’s (DfE) reforms.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) says that a report last week from the House of Commons’ Committee of Public Accounts (CPA, 2021) “lays bare the reality behind the government’s ‘levelling-up’ rhetoric”.

And this all comes after changes to the way Pupil Premium funding is calculated have wiped off £90m from this crucial funding stream – this has mainly hit primary schools.

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