Lies, dammed lies and statistics - an example from Tower hamlets Labour plus how to ignore the real issues facing local schools
The Tower Hamlets Labour Group sent a press release last week saying Broken promises from Government on school funding which said “31 schools in Tower Hamlets have had budgets cut in real-terms, despite Government promise that every school would see an increase in funding.”
It was widely reported including by the East London Advertiser here
Very simply of the 31 schools they allege had budget cuts:
1 school - changed from being a local authority school to Academy and how it was compensated for business rates changed - Labour presented this as a budget cut, it was not, it is that their budget was compiled differently this year
29 schools - saw a reduction in pupil numbers year on year, as schools are funded on a per pupil basis this means their budgets are reduced (as the budget moves with the child) but their budgets fell by less then the fall in pupil numbers
Labour by saying they should not have budget cuts are in effect saying children cannot move schools or if they do they cannot take their budget with them (we also have dropping school enrollments as fewer babies born in TH)
1 school - saw a reduction in pupil numbers but its budget fell by 0.1% more than its fall in pupil numbers, I think because of a big fall in pupils learning English as an additional language.
58 schools saw budget increases year on year (including the first school)
I supplied this quote to newspapers
"In the middle of two by-election campaigns the Tower Hamlets Labour party supply misleading statistics to local newspapers. Either the Mayor and the lead Cabinet member do not understand how schools are funded or else they decided to mislead people during an election campaign. School financing is a complex area and it is true school budgets are under pressure due to cost pressures and increasing pupil numbers, but funding has increased year on year (above inflation) and we still receive the highest funding per pupil in the country. Parents should not be scared away from Tower Hamlets by this propaganda as it is pupils leaving schools which cause the greatest financial problems which this inaccurate press release may unfortunately encourage.
Our workings are attached so that they can be checked and we will ask that Tower Hamlets Council support organisations like www.fullfact.org to correct these kinds of errors”
The attached press release has more information and sources (plus at the very end the original Labour press release)
All of the information & backup is in the Excel file link here. I have not named schools in the word document as do not want to make life more difficult for schools already facing budget problems but the information is in the Excel file.