‘Inconsistent and unfair’ DfE funding for pupils from Ukraine, council warns

The Department for Education has been urged by a county to provide funding for school pupils arriving from Ukraine, regardless of how they came to UK.

Children who have come to the UK through the Homes for Ukraine scheme are eligible for funding from DfE, but children coming through the Ukraine Family Scheme or any other ad-hoc sponsorship arrangement are not.

This discrepancy has been pointed out in a letter to education secretary Nadhim Zahawi from Staffordshire CC’s cabinet member for communities and culture Victoria Wilson (Con) and cabinet member for education and SEND Jonathan Price (Con)..

“There is a real concern, however, that while the government has recognised the additional costs for the education of Ukrainian children, this ignores children from the Ukraine Family Scheme,” the letter says.

“This method of per pupil funding is inconsistent and unfair, and we would urge you to consider providing funds so that all Ukrainian children are included, and all local authorities and schools/education settings are funded appropriately.”

Ms Wilson and Mr Price also highlighted that Staffordshire is a “net-importer” of pupils from neighbouring counties.

“In view of this, we seek a reassurance from the DfE that this fact will be recognised in current and future funding,” they said.

A DfE spokesperson said: “The education secretary has committed to finding school places for up to 100,000 Ukrainian children arriving in the UK, following Russia’s invasion of their homeland.

“We are working closely with the sector and other government departments to refine our understanding of the costs we expect LAs will incur to support and provide services to those Ukrainian nationals arriving in the UK.”

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