Tories 'cut funding for poorest pupils by £220m in real terms since 2015', report says

The poorest school children are not being supported enough, a new report claims (Picture: Getty)

The Tories have cut funding for poorer children in schools by more than £220m in real terms since 2015, according to a new report.

Schools would have received 8.4 per cent less money overall via the pupil premium in real terms by next year, the Independent reports.

The pupil premium is a sum of money given to support children who struggle financially.

The study from House of Commons library research commissioned by Matthew Pennycook, Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, revealed the problem in London was worse with the drop being 18.6 per cent.

Mr Pennycook said: “This is yet further damning evidence that parents, pupils and teachers are being let down as a result of Tory cuts to their schools, and it’s the most disadvantaged children that are paying the heaviest price.”

The Tories have been criticised for the amount of money they budget for the pupil premium (Picture: Getty)

The government rejected the claim the pupil premium had been cut and said it was protecting the money just as it had promised in its manifesto.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education (DfE) said: “The pupil premium has not been cut. The amount spent on the pupil premium to help disadvantaged pupils has more than trebled from £705m to almost £2.4bn since 2011-12.

“It’s entirely normal for allocations to schools each year to fluctuate as the number of eligible children changes.”

They added: “This government has also announced a £14bn investment in schools over three years – the biggest cash boost for a decade.”

But the premium, which is distributed based on a pupil’s free school meals status, has been frozen since the Tories took control four years, which has meant the real term value of the funding to schools has fallen, according to the research.

Schools have been using the pupil premium to fund other areas because their budgets have been squeezed, a report carried out by the Sutton Trust added.

The headteachers’ union suggested in order to return to the funding levels of 2015 the government needed to increase the budget for pupil premiums by £570m in the next three years.