More than 5,000 heads write to No 10 calling for extra £1.7 billion to keep their schools running
HEAD teachers must be listened to rather than being fobbed off with claims that schools have enough money, Labour shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said yesterday.
More than 5,000 heads in England backed a letter delivered to Downing Street by school leaders in the Worth Less? campaign on Monday calling for an extra £1.7 billion a year.
The government has moved £1.3bn of education funding into school budgets — by cutting elsewhere — but heads say that an increasing number of them are having to make “desperate requests to parents for ‘voluntary’ donations.”
They said that they have faced a real-terms cut of £1.7bn between 2015 and 2020 and without that amount being restored, class sizes would increase, subjects would have to be axed, sixth forms could close, teachers would not be recruited and children with special needs would not get the help that they require.
The letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond, ahead of the Budget next week, says: “It is extraordinary that some English secondary schools will receive 60 per cent less funding than others of the same size.
“The impact on class sizes, curriculum offer and staffing is obvious. A school receiving over £4 million more than another could, for example, afford 133 more teachers.”
Ms Rayner said that Education Secretary “Justine Greening needs to start listening to the head teachers and con
cerned parents who are facing the real consequences of her government’s decision to put tax breaks for the super-rich ahead of investment in the next generation.
“Despite Tory spin, the new funding formula [for schools] does nothing to reverse the cuts to budgets and every penny they have found just comes from cutting other education provision — it isn’t fair and it isn’t funded.
“The next Labour government will give our schools the resources they need, reversing Tory cuts and protecting per-pupil funding in real terms as we build a national education service for the many and not just the few.”
The letter follows another one that was sent to parents of more than 2.5m pupils in September that warned about the cuts.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb claimed that “there are no cuts in funding.”