Calderdale missing out on £540,000 funding for school pupils

The Government has “moved the goalposts” over pupil premium funding, meaning Calderdale children will miss out on £540,000, a Cabinet member has said.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 12:00 pm
Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Adam Wilkinson
Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Adam Wilkinson

In the questions to Cabinet members section of the full meeting of Calderdale Council, Coun Josh Fenton-Glynn (Lab, Calder) said he had recently read that councils had lost out on cash because of a Government decision to move the eligibility date for the pupil premium grant – which is designed to allow schools to help disadvantaged pupils by improving their progress and the exam results they achieve.

“Does that apply to Calderdale Council, and, if so, how much do our young people and schools miss out on?” he said.

Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Adam Wilkinson replied: “Yes – for those not familiar, the Government has moved the goal posts so the Pupil Premium fund will be based on children receiving free school meals in October not January,” he said.

Nationally £155 million worth of funding had been lost by schools, said Coun Wilkinson (Lab, Sowerby Bridge).

“I have asked officers to look into how we would be affected – they tell me £540,000 worth of funding for disadvantaged children has been lost, a real negative impact in those schools.

“Government has provided some extra funding to education catch-up schemes but with this move they are giving with one hand and taking away with the other,” he said.

Coun Wilkinson said he had asked officers to look into how individual schools would be affected.