Urban schools get more funding than rural counterparts

In figures released by the Government on February 11 2020, schools in areas classified as Predominantly Urban received £332 more per pupil on average than those in Predominantly Rural areas for 2019/20. 

Users can use this link to find out data for their constituency.  Data included in this dashboard is for state funded schools in England only and is in real terms (2019/20 prices).

Core revenue funding for schools is also known as the schools block, which is a component of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). The schools block excludes high (special) needs funding, the new central school services block, early years funding, and the pupil premium.

The Rural Services Network is calling on Government to produce a Rural Strategy and part of our campaign is to ensure that rural areas are a place to learn and grow.  It wants to ensure that mainstream policies work for towns and villages in rural areas and are not disadvantaged by policies dominated by urban thinking and policy concerns. 

Rural schools often benefit from having experienced staff and most of them perform well, if measured against pupil achievements at key stages or in exam results. However, there are significant challenges which should be addressed by a Rural Strategy. They are:

    • Sustaining schools with small (or fluctuating) pupil numbers;
    • Managing school budgets when operating costs are high;
    • Recruiting and retaining teaching and support staff; and
    • Finding appropriate models for school collaboration.

Rural schools typically play an important role at the heart of their community and provide a high quality education. It is imperative that education policies – focussed on the needs of children – support them and help them to face particular rural challenges.  At a minimum however, they need to be fairly funded to ensure that rural pupils do not suffer disadvantage.


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