Rotherham schools face losing £840,000 in “stealth cuts” according to shadow education secretary

Rotherham schools are facing funding cuts of approximately £840,000, thanks to a change in the way the government calculates funding.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 19th August 2021, 10:50 am

State schools receive “pupil premium funding” for every disadvantaged child enrolled – but for the 2021-22 term, these figures will be calculated from a census taken in October 2020, instead of the January 2021 census.

Children who became eligible for the pupil premium funding between October and January will not receive the extra funding for their school.

Rotherham Council has estimated that more than 100 local schools will see cuts to their funding in what has been branded a “stealth cut to school budgets” by Kate Green, Labour’s shadow education secretary.

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Councillor Victoria Cusworth.

In Rotherham, the council estimates that schools most affected will be Maltby Crags Community School which could lose nearly £35,000, St Ann’s Junior and Infant School which could lose £32,000 and Thornhill Primary which could lose £20,000.

According to Rotherham Council’s estimates, primary schools are expected to lose about £700,000, special schools £10,000, and secondary schools £127,000.

Councillor Victoria Cusworth, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for children and young people called the cuts “unbelivable.”

Coun Cusworth has written to the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, asking for a u-turn on the decision.

Coun Cusworth said: “After all the incredibly hard work that our teachers put in over the last year and a half, dealing with covid and the incredible pressures that came with it, it is unbelievable that the Conservative government is rewarding them with further cuts.

“The Tories need to make good this difference in funding as a priority, and give our teachers and pupils the support that they need.

“The Conservatives have protected spending on local services the most in the most affluent areas for the last decade.

“They have increased funding for schools in the most affluent areas and cut it in real terms in the poorest. And with this latest cut they will impact on some of the schools with the poorest families.

“For all their bluster about levelling up, once again it’s clear that the Conservatives won’t give Rotherham a fair deal.”