INNER city education in Manchester will collapse due to new school funding cuts, according to two Manchester head teachers.
Spending per pupil will fall 6.5% in England by 2019-20, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, with Manchester being hit the hardest outside of London.
On average, Manchester is set to lose £10 million a year in education funding.
Ian Fenn, headteacher of Burnage Academy for Boys, said: “The situation in many schools in Manchester is already grim and the prospect of a cut will push all Manchester schools into deficit within two years.
“This will effectively end education in the inner city as we know it. There is no easy way out.”
The Department of Education insists funding for schools is at a £40bn high and that their formula is ‘fair’, but Manchester teachers say there are more students than ever before in school, thus funding per pupil has fallen.
Schools are currently bearing the brunt of unfunded rises in pay, pensions and National Insurance contributions, which could account for between 6% – 11% of their budgets by 2020.
Funding per pupil for Manchester over time
Phil Mellen, head of Stanley Grove Primary Academy in Longsight, said: “These proposed changes come at the same time as the government is putting more funding into new free schools and grammar schools.
“If there is funding for new free schools then there should be money for existing schools.
“If there was £140 million available for forced academisation a year ago, why is that funding not being put into our existing schools?”
Currently, councils distribute the dedicated schools grant based on the number of schools in an area, the level of need as a whole and early years provision.
Under the new system, cash will be distributed according to a nationally-set formula, rather than local ones, based mainly on pupil numbers and need.
The government says it will ‘level the playing field’.
Contrary to IFS report, protections that ensure no school loses more than 3% per pupil will extend past 2020 & for lifetime of formula. 2/2
— DfE (@educationgovuk) March 22, 2017
Mr Mellen believes that at a time when the government requires improved standards and outcomes, “schools cannot have large scale funding cuts and still survive as effective education providers.”
He said: “Schools in areas of high deprivation, including parts of Greater Manchester, will struggle to maintain the excellent work they are doing with students and families.”
To find out how much your child’s school is set to lose, head to schoolcuts.org.uk