Osborne to Revise U.K. School Funding by Setting National Rate

  • Proposal seeks to end per-pupil gaps as high as $4,557
  • Education Secretary Morgan in agreement on Osborne plan

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will on Wednesday announce changes in funding for schools to end disparities in the way money is allocated to institutions across different regions of Britain.

The changes, reached in agreement with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, mean school funding -- which can currently vary as much as 3,000 pounds ($4,557) per pupil depending on the region -- will be distributed by establishing a national rate per student, as well as an extra rate for those with additional needs, such as students from poorer backgrounds, according to a Treasury briefing note released Saturday.

Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement alongside a spending review in which he will identify 20 billion pounds of savings from the budget of government departments and in which will reiterate the need for continued austerity. The proposal on school funding, intended to allocate money more fairly, may be designed to help counter criticism some of his cuts will mostly hurt working families and the poor.

School funding will be protected from the spending review, and the 2.5 billion pound student premium introduced in the last parliament to support those from poorer backgrounds will be maintained at current rates, according to the note.

The reforms followed appeals by lawmakers and education chiefs. Some funding decisions for schools have remained unchanged for about 10 years, meaning that some institutions still receive the same money for free school meals as a decade ago, even though enrollment may have doubled.

Morgan will consult on the new system from 2016.

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