Sheffield schools cash funding fears

Tapton School head: David Bowes.
Tapton School head: David Bowes.

A NEW funding scheme will leave some Sheffield schools worse off, it was feared today.

Schools are set to receive shares of £4.7 million allocated through the Government’s new Pupil Premium.

The premium was a key Lib Dem election policy now adopted by the Coalition, the aim being to target £430 this year at every disadvantaged child.

But Labour says the premium is old money and schools will lose funding from other sources to help pay for it.

Sheffield Lib Dems estimate city schools will receive an extra £6.4m over last year.

David Bowes, head at Tapton School in Crosspool, said the extra £43,000 he was due to receive this year through the premium was a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared to the cash he was set to lose over the next three years.

He said: “This is absolutely not the whole picture. Our sixth form funding is set to be cut by 20 per cent over the next three years which will cost Tapton £500,000.”

It would “cut the number of courses we can offer and the number of students we can admit”.

King Ecgbert School head Lesley Bowes said the premium there would be £46,000, and she thought it was ‘a fantastic idea’.

“But our funding this year will be at a standstill at best due to rising inflation and less cash for post-16 education.”

Coun Colin Ross said: “I’m delighted to see that our schools will receive millions through the Pupil Premium next year, with the most investment going to schools with high numbers of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

HOW MUCH SCHOOLS GAIN:

SECONDARY

Highest: Firth Park Community Arts College £170,000

Lowest: Bradfield, £14,600

Total, 23 schools £1,383,740

PRIMARY

Highest: Southey Green £100,000+

Lowest: Loxley £430

Total, 133 schools £3,154,910