Headteachers take mass action at Downing Street in Worth Less? campaign
Philip Jones, headteacher at Ferndown Upper School has written to parents of the school to explain his absence today, he said in his letter, “Under a challenging period of austerity for the Government we understand that there is not a bottomless pit of money. Accordingly, schools have played their part to work even harder and with greater efficiency on behalf of the children and families that we serve.
“It is clear to all headteachers, however, that matters are unsustainable. Frequently, we do not have enough money to meet the demands placed on our schools. On the ground, services and resources are cut to the bone and class sizes are increasing. At times, schools are even having to prop up our budgets with monies that should be targeted at those students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, or those that have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
“Under the umbrella of the campaign group ‘Worth Less?’, headteachers have shone a light on the funding difficulties that we are facing. We acknowledge that the Government should be given credit for introducing a new National Funding Formula. Unfortunately, however, the formula itself is not adequately resourced/funded and therefore our budgets remain in an unacceptably poor state.”
A thousand headteachers will gather in Parliament Square at 11am in support of Worth Less? After three years of campaigning headteachers remain extremely concerned that they are unable to lead and serve schools and local communities in the way that they all wish to. They say they are fundamentally hamstrung by an overall lack of funding and a chronic shortage of teachers and support staff. Despite the newly introduced National Funding Formula, the Treasury and Department for Education has failed to meaningfully address these two crucial issues.
A spokesperson for Worth Less? said, “In July 2018 the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies confirmed that since 2010 our budgets have been slashed by 8% in real terms. In August 2018 the independent Education Policy Institute stated that schools in many parts of England face a severe ‘shortage of teachers’.”
The campaign has repeatedly requested that the Treasury and Department for Education meaningfully address these two crucial issues. “These requests have largely been ignored,” added the spokesperson.
“In light of this, we feel that we have no alternative but to deliver a plea to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Education to support schools, families and children in three fundamental ways.”
- Fund all schools adequately and reverse the real terms cuts that have happened over the last eight years
- Make an immediate £400 million cash injection to support the beleaguered SEND/High Needs Block
- Meaningfully improve real term per pupil funding for the post 16 education sector
Headteachers will gather in Parliament Square at 11am and arrive at Downing Street at noon.
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