London schools face more than £600 million worth of budget cuts by 2020, according to teaching unions.

The Evening Standard reports that an average of £570 less could be spent on each pupil in London within four years, according to calculations by two teaching unions.

The figures suggest that up to 16,000 teaching jobs could be lost in the capital.

The numbers were calculated by the National Union of Teachers and ATL Education Union following government proposals to reform the way grants are allocated to schools across the UK.

 

The government have disputed the unions’ estimates, calling them “irresponsible” and “scaremongering”. It says the statistics are based upon “speculative figures”.

The NUT has said the figures point to an “uncomfortable truth” about the reality of funding schools in the capital. Among the worst hit boroughs could be Southwark, Lambeth and Hackney, which could all face cuts of more than £1,000 per pupil in four years, the unions claim.

They added that Newham could face a budget loss of over £41 million while Southwark is expected to lose an estimated £38 million – a risk to more than 1,000 jobs.

Also revealed in the figures was the unions’ prediction that London authorities’ school budgets will face cuts of 10 per cent by 2020 as money is redistributed elsewhere and budgets are not protected against inflation.

The financial shake-up is part of government plans to introduce a national funding formula, which determines how much councils receive for their schools budget.

At present, the sum of money local authorities are given by the government varies significantly – with the best funded areas enjoying a grant of nearly £6,300 compared to £4,200 in other areas.

The Department for Education has begun a consultation on the national funding formula with plans of rolling it out by April 2018.

The NUT say the figures would be the equivalent of a budget cut of eight per cent, based on predicted inflation rates between now and 2020.