Government response

Schools minister Nick Gibb responds to 'The Guardian' website's claims about cutting one-to-one tuition and Every Child programmes

In response to Polly Toynbee's comment published on on 24 May 2010, School's Minister Nick Gibb explains and justifies recent changes in the Department's funding allocation arrangements.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Dear Sir

Polly Toynbee is completely wrong to claim we are cutting support for children falling behind (The Guardian’s comment is free: 24/05/10).

We’re actually doing exactly what the taxpayer expects - protecting core schools, college and Sure Start funding in the financial year 2010 to 2011 but not hesitating in cutting out bureaucracy, waste or unused spending.

We are spending £256 million in the financial year 2010 to 2011 for 7- to 16-year-olds who need catch-up support in English or maths this year so no child due to receive help will miss out. But we are handing £47 million of centrally-held funding, unallocated by the previous government, back to the Treasury as part of our savings package.

We will continue to spend £89 million this year in the Every Child schemes giving extra support for 5- to 8-year-olds in the three Rs. But we are able to release over £5 million, mainly from unallocated spending because the Department for Education had planned for a higher number of teacher leaders in writing than needed. All local authorities who want to take part in the programmes this year can still do so.

And longer-term we are clear that while there will be difficult decisions ahead, we will take the right balance between urgent action to manage the public finances; protecting frontline education services; and using the pupil premium to give significant extra funding for disadvantaged children who need the most support.

Yours faithfully,

Nick Gibb
Schools Minister

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Updates to this page

Published 26 April 2012