Exclusive: London mayor Sadiq Khan vows to fight for school budgets in the capital

Newly elected mayor pledges to ensure that the new funding formula doesn’t harm finances in his first education interview since taking office

Sadiq Khan, the newly elected mayor of London, has vowed to fight the government’s plan to bring in a new national school funding formula that could cut the budgets of the capital’s schools.

In his first interview on education since being elected last week, Mr Khan told TES: “The previous mayor [Boris Johnson] didn’t say boo to a goose when it came to London losing money from our schools budget. I will.”

The Labour mayor said that he would use his new role to “make sure the funding formula works for London”.

The proposed formula – the first details of which were outlined in March – would redistribute money from higher-funded areas in the capital to other parts of the country. A second version of the proposals, which will detail how much each area will gain or lose, is expected to be published later this term.

‘Children would lose out’

“The new formula from the government will lead to huge sums of money being lost from London, which means children will be losing out on the money they need,” Mr Khan said.

But he said that he would not be “getting a megaphone and shouting to the government” about the funding formula; he hoped he would instead “have a good relationship” with Westminster.

A previous attempt to bring in a new formula fell through in 2014.

The Department for Education said the new formula would tackle “historic unfairness” and result in every pupil in the country being “funded according to need”.

“Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds will attract significant extra funding under the national funding formula, so areas such as London will still attract more than the national average,” a spokesperson added.

This is an edited version of an article in the 13 May edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full story here. To subscribe, click here. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here. You can also download the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. TES magazine is available at all good newsagents.

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