I received this afternoon a letter from Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, about educational outcomes in our borough of Havering. This is further to a meeting I held with him in parliament about the flooding of Drapers Brookside Primary School in Harold Hill at which we discussed performance and outcomes in our state education sector.
Julia Lopez MP
House of Commons
23 May 2019
I wanted to write to give you some further information about school results and resourcing, nationally and in Havering. These are very important subjects that I know continue to be of great interest to your constituents; I hope the information in this letter will be of use when responding to correspondence.
In Havering, 85% of children now (as at December 2018) attend schools rated good or outstanding, compared to 67% in 2010. 70% of pupils reached the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 2, compared to 65% of pupils across the country.
This decade, we are on course to create a million school places, following the net loss of 100,000 in the six years up to 2010. In Havering, almost 7,000 places have been added; this includes the establishment of two Free Schools. A further three new schools have been agreed to be created in the coming years.
Over the two years 2018/19 and 2019/20, when changes in pupil numbers are taken into account, total funding rises by £5.1 million (up 3% compared to 2017/18).
In 2019-20, the National Funding Formula (NFF) allocates Havering:
£4,054 per primary pupil. For a class of 28 (the average primary class in Havering), this equates to £114,308.
£5,495 per secondary pupil. For the same class of 28 pupils, this equates to £154,927.
An additional £4.7 million of funding through the growth, premises and mobility factors of the formula, which are not distributed on a per pupil basis.
On top of the NFF, Havering will receive £10.5 million in Pupil Premium funding (including the Service Child Pupil Premium and Pupil Premium Plus) to support the 8,726 pupils eligible for Pupil Premium of all abilities perform better, and close the gap between them and their peers.
Compared to 2010, there are now (as at November 20172) 28 more teachers in Havering. There are now 158 more teaching assistants compared to 2011.
Meanwhile we are taking steps to address some of the areas of particular cost pressures that education has faced. One of these is High Needs, despite the High Needs budget having risen by £1 billion over the last five years. Steps we are taking include capital funding both for new special schools and inclusion units in mainstream schools, reviewing the structure of funding, and training more Educational Psychologists. We have also provided some additional revenue funding for this year and next to local authorities: Havering will receive an additional £1.2 million over the two years, bringing the total High Needs block funding for two to 18 year-olds to £23.9 million in 2018/19 and £25.3 million in 2019/20.
For any individual school in your constituency you can see how both their funding and spend on different categories compares to other schools of similar size and pupil characteristics elsewhere at: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/.
We know from independent studies that the UK is a high spender on state primary and secondary education by international standards,3 and also that real spending per pupil is half as much again higher than it was in 2000.4 Nevertheless, I very much recognise the financial constraints that schools face. As you know, the Spending Review is the key determinant of spending for government departments; I will be setting out a strong case for education, which is key to so much else in our society and our economy.
I appreciate you continue to raise really important issues relating to school resourcing and performance. We are striving for world-class education, for all pupils, whatever their background. This means the best academic standards, updating technical education, prioritising the most disadvantaged, recruiting and retaining the best people and making sure every pound counts. To achieve this obviously needs sustained investment. I believe we have made great progress to date, but there is clearly much more still to do.
Secretary of State for Education
1 The figures refer to funding for pre-16 through the Direct Schools Grant; funding for the average class does not equal the product of per pupil funding and class size due to rounding.
2 Numbers of teachers and teaching assistants are full-time equivalents; teachers include those in the leadership group as well as classroom teachers.
Following the end of the 1% public sector pay cap, we are funding the unexpected additional cost of the pay award for teachers with £508 million over two years, over and above the amount schools had already been allocated. We are also covering the costs of increased pension contributions for state schools (the Teachers’ Pension Scheme is a key part of the pay and benefits package to attract and retain teachers; it is one of the most generous pension schemes in the country, and with rising longevity has become more costly).