Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Suffolk: County’s schools’ low funding exposed

09:00 20 December 2012

Graham Newman

Graham Newman

Archant

WHILE Suffolk’s schools fell to near the bottom of the national league table for Key Stage Two SATs results, the county also sits in the lower reaches of another league table – for funding from Government.

The county has around £4,700 a pupil per year to spend – more than £3,000 less per pupil than in some London boroughs which have produced better results.

The highest spending per pupil in England in 2011 was in the London borough of Tower Hamlets which spent more than £8,000 per pupil.

One school chair of governors in Suffolk said: “The difference is significant when you compare the spending on pupils here with the spending on pupils in those authorities which are now much higher up the league table.”

His comments were backed up by Suffolk NUT spokesman Graham White who said the county council was wasting money on issues such as schools reorganisation.

He said: “The county is wasting £10million a year on redundancies when it should be investing in bringing down the pupil/teacher ratio in schools and the adult/teacher ratio generally.”

Suffolk councillor with responsibility for children and young people Graham Newman said the money for schools came directly from the government – the authority did not set school budgets.

Suffolk is in the bottom 25% for funding across the English local authorities.

However Mr Newman pointed out that funding was not the overwhelming issue – Cambridgeshire has less to spend per student and its results are considerably better than Suffolk.

He said: “It would be good to have more funding, but it is not as simple a matter as some seem to think.

“We have to ensure that the resources we have are used most effectively. Across the county you can see where schools with the same resources have different results.”

Primary schools in some relatively deprived areas of Ipswich – like Morland, St Helens, and Springfield Junior – had very good results while neighbouring schools had much lower results.

Mr Newman said the council was attempting to bring in at least £3million by persuading more eligible families to claim free school meals.

Those on free school meals trigger the “pupil premium” for those who need extra support – currently £600 a year and due to increase to £900 a year next year.

Mr Newman said: “We estimate there are currently 5,000 students who are eligible for free school meals in Suffolk, but don’t claim for it.

“We have made it much easier for them, and removed any stigma that might have been attached to this in the past.

“If all 5,000 people eligible claimed, there would be an extra £3million that would go into giving more help to those children who most need it – and if the premium goes up next year it will rise to £4.5million. That could make quite a difference.”

Related articles

1 comment

  • The question to ask Mr Newman is what percentage of the government funding is kept back by the Local Authority to fund their Ivory Towers? What now Mr Newman?

    Report this comment

    Provocateur

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

A silhouette shot of 'Sarah', who has spoken about her experience with domestic abuse. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

A domestic violence survivor from Suffolk has told how family and friends intervened to help her flee a 13-year abusive relationship that left her “completely beaten”.

Jeremy Head, who took his own life at mental health unit Wedgwood House, in Bury St Edmunds, in 2014. Picture: Ashtons Legal

The sister of a 49-year-old man who was found hanged at a mental health unit in Suffolk has said she begged for help in the weeks leading up to his death.

Lauren Sherwood and Jaimin Patel (centre, arms linked) at Glemhall Hall where they met with suppliers of the St Elizabeth Hospice win a wedding competition. Picture: Echo Alfa

A Colchester couple who won St Elizabeth Hospice’s wedding giveaway last year have pledged their commitment to raising thousands of pounds for the cause in return for their special day at Glemham Hall.

President Vladimir Putin Dmitry Astakhov/ Sputnik, Government Press Service Pool photo via AP

Russian president Vladamir Putin should be offered a state visit, a Suffolk MP has said.

Glasses of fizz

Is a new style of bubbly about to take the supermarket aisles by storm with its mix of two favourite tipples?

Chaos on the trains at London Liverpool Street. Picture: Jon Carney

Two points failures at London Liverpool Street which saw thousands of rail passengers heading towards Ipswich delayed this evening have been fixed.

Broke Hall Community Primary School, Ipswich, had a Tractors in School visit - farmer John Taylor with Kara Bassil. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

Hundreds of youngsters will get close-up to one of the most impressive and hi-tech working vehicles this week – as they take part in a growing education programme.

Silhouette of a domestic abuse victim. Picture: Andy Abbott

A project pledging to give extra support to domestic abuse victims in Suffolk has been awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds in government funding.

Suffolk Constabulary's headquarters in Martlesham Heath, where the 999 control room is based.   Picture: SU ANDERSON

Police in Suffolk have vowed to investigate why the force has the worst rate of abandoned 999 calls in the country.

Traffic on the Orwell Bridge. Picture: Lucy Taylor

A car has broken down in the outside lane which is causing problems for drivers heading towards Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24