23rd Sep, 2018

School funding at 'crisis point' say headteachers in Redditch

Ross Crawford 13th Sep, 2018

HIGH schools in Worcestershire, including Redditch, are at a financial crisis point – that’s the message from headteachers from across the county.

And in a letter sent to thousands of parents they have highlighted the seriousness of their financial position.

The headteachers say they are united in warning parents that they cannot prevent another year of belt tightening from affecting their children.

The letter lists some effects of these economies: larger classes, fewer options and less support for the most vulnerable.

It does recognise that a new method for allocating government money across the country has been a step towards a fairer system.

However they say the gap between schools in Worcestershire and those over the border in south Birmingham is still far too wide.

The letter also sets out the declining real value of the national investment in schools since 2015 – although the headline figure has gone up, the demands upon school budgets have risen faster still.

“Despite the changes to the way schools are funded, Worcestershire’s are still among the poorest funded in England, despite having the same costs as any other school in the country,” said Adrian Ward, headteacher at Trinity High School, Redditch.

“As an example, schools in Birmingham receive over £800 more per pupil than schools just down the road like here in Redditch, with rising costs outstripping the amount coming into schools. we are now at crisis point.

“All the headteachers have done everything in their power to alleviate the impact on students. Unfortunately we are unable to sustain this and unless there is a significant cash injection in Worcestershire schools then the education and provision that we all want to provide will suffer.”

The headteachers are inviting parents to support their campaign and they themselves are backing the national Worth Less? movement.

Some of them intend to be among those delivering this message to Downing Street September 28.

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