Andy Hits Out At Government’s ‘Levelling Down’ Of Pupil Premium Funding – As £8.8M Is Slashed From GM’s Budget, Impacting More Than 6,500 Pupils

  • Analysis by Schools Week has found that more than £8.8 million is being slashed from Greater Manchester’s pupil premium budget, impacting on more than 6,500 pupils.
  • Schools across Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs are likely to be worse off, following Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s changes to the pupil premium.
  • Manchester schools will be hardest hit losing £2.4m that means young people in some of the city region’s most deprived areas will miss out on small group support, speech and language therapy and teaching assistants.
  • If the Government refuses to reconsider many of the same pupils could be at risk of not receiving free school meals this autumn, as funding will not be there to support them.

Andy has today called for an urgent review of the Government’s changes to the pupil premium that will leave thousands of young people in Greater Manchester worse off.

The pupil premium grant is designed to allow schools to help disadvantaged pupils by improving their progress and the exam results they achieve, including the provision of free school meals.

But shocking new data, obtained by Schools Week, shows the Government engaging in a levelling down policy on some of Greater Manchester’s most disadvantaged pupils.  

The stealth cut to school budgets comes at a time when children need more support than ever, in Greater Manchester the Young People’s Taskforce has been established to provide extra support.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, the Labour & Co-operative Party candidate at this May’s election, said:

“This is a deliberate act of levelling down, now is the time to ensure our poorest kids have all the support they need, not take it away. The neglect of the North has a human cost, which has become all too apparent over the last 12 months.

“It’s the poorest places which have suffered the most, and lost the most, over the last year. Too many children already do not have enough to eat when schools are closed. I’m calling for the Government to carry out an urgent review of its pupil premium reforms before they make things worse for thousands of pupils in Greater Manchester.

“The Tory candidate has said she won’t argue with the Government, but will she speak up for the poorest kids in the poorest communities. And if not them, who will she speak up for?”

Data table showing proposed pupil premium cuts in Greater Manchester


Editors’ Notes:

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  1. Back in 2017, Andy pledged that Greater Manchester would use the freedoms we have under devolution to make young people the city-region’s priority for investment, rather than the target for cuts, as Westminster has done. Andy has stuck to that prioritising support for our young people, providing free bus travel for 16–18-year-olds and delivering the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship and Careers Service (GMACS).
  2. At this Election, Andy has reaffirmed his commitment to support our young people. We know that our young people have sacrificed a lot over the last year. Many young lives have been severely disrupted. We now need to make an extra effort to help them back on track. Diane Modahl has led the work on developing a Young Person’s Guarantee for our city-region and we commit to implementing her recommendations.

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