Thursday, 29 April 2010

A Fair Deal for Haringey Children: the problem of unfair school funding

The funding of education in Haringey is unfair. Haringey is placed fourth on the list of London boroughs according to levels of deprivation yet it is funded as if it had been placed ninth. The result of this is that schools in Haringey receive over 1,000 pounds less per child per year than those in neighbouring boroughs such as Islington and Hackney.

Haringey is an outer London borough with inner London characteristics and problems. It has an ethnically diverse and, in certain parts of the borough, highly mobile population with a relatively high proportion of children with special educational needs, receiving free school meals and/or speaking English as a second language. For some time now there has been a campaign to get a fairer deal for Haringey children and Haringey Green Party has supported this campaign. The Department for Children, Schools and Families is presently consulting on proposals to change the way it allocates money for education, beginning in September 2011. For the sake of our children, it is vital that Haringey schools receive the increase in funding that they need to improve the life chances of some of the most deprived children in the country.

Each one of us can make this outcome more likely by taking part in the consultation. The consultation document is off-putting at first sight. It is long and full of technical detail. But all we need to do is to fill in the first page and then go to question 14 about ‘Area Cost Adjustment’. The options proposed by the Government are less than satisfactory and would not completely remedy the present unfairness. One of these options is the ‘hybrid’ model which, if adopted, would provide Haringey with an extra 10.8 million. The other, called the General Labour Market approach, would leave things roughly as they are.

To respond to the consultation, visit and click on ‘Consultation on the future distribution of school funding’. Consultations are listed in order of their closing date. The consultation about school funding closes on 7th June. The form can be filled in and submitted online or it can be downloaded and sent by email or post.

Kathryn Dean (pictured, centre above, wrote this piece), she is a Green Party candidate at the local elections for Fortis Green ward

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