Magazine article Public Finance

DfES to Review Guaranteed Grant to Ensure Poorer Schools Don't Lose Out

Magazine article Public Finance

DfES to Review Guaranteed Grant to Ensure Poorer Schools Don't Lose Out

Article excerpt

The Department for Education and Skills has pledged to review the new Dedicated Schools Grant following criticism from MPs and local authorities that it prevents funds being targeted at deprived schools and areas.

The grant, which was introduced this financial year, includes minimum funding guarantees to all schools, regardless of their cash reserves or level of deprivation.

But, while councils can redistribute elements of the DSG between different schools and children's services in their areas, they have complained that in practice the high 'floor' implied in the guarantee leaves little left over for those most in need.

One Labour member of the Commons education and skills select committee, David Chaytor, has said the guarantee 'sabotages' previous redistribution movements.

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, which gave evidence to the committee's inquiry, said the grant involved 'robbing from the poor to give to the rich.'

In a written response to the committee's report, the DfES last week said that it agreed 'that more funding needed to reach deprived schools and pupils. It said it will consider 'ways in which the allocation process might be used to require authorities to target deprivation. …

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