Croydon Council has admitted to sending funding for disadvantaged pupils back to government "because schools don't spend it wisely."
This startling admission came on Monday evening's Council meeting (18th July) following questions by Conservative Councillor Maria Gatland.
Cllr Gatland raised the issue following reports in the Times Educational Supplement which revealed Croydon returned £248,379, nearly a quarter of its pupil premium plus funding - one of the highest of any Council.
Pupil Premium funding is an extra £1,900 for each child in care, designed to boost their educational chances. These are Croydon's most vulnerable children who face huge problems in their lives and deserve every penny. Despite this, at Monday’s meeting Cllr Alisa Flemming, Labour’s Cabinet member in charge of education, claimed schools don't spend the funding wisely and that is the reason her administration sends this huge amount of funding back to central government unspent.
Cllr Maria Gatland, Shadow Cabinet spokesperson for Children and Young People, commented: “It is very concerning that if there is a problem with schools rather than working with and supporting schools on how to use this extra funding Cllr Flemming prefers to blame schools and send back this huge amount of money. Where is the programme in Croydon designed to help encourage and support our most vulnerable children?”
You can watch the full exchange online here.