You can read 9 more articles this month
MORE than 7,000 headteachers wrote to 3.5 million families to warn of the school funding crisis in England that is resulting in them having to cut resources and staff numbers to the bone.
In the letter, organised by the WorthLess? campaign group, they are said to have made a request for a meeting with Education Secretary Damian Hinds which was rejected.
The Department for Education (DfE) claims that school funding in England was “at its highest ever level.”
Siobhan Lowe, head of Tolworth girls’ school in Surbiton, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that she is “embarassed” that her school does not have enough money.
She has helped clean the school, clean the toilets, serve in the canteen and can no longer afford a deputy headteacher.
Ms Lowe added that supportive parents have helped pay for books and printing materials while others have written to her saying: “I really wish we could help but we’re just about managing.”
She said: “I’ve reduced the number of options that the students have, I’ve increased class sizes, I’ve cut critical services such as student support workers who work with our most vulnerable.”
Students at her school are allocated £10 each per year to buy basic equipment such as books, she said. For science they get £1.50 each per year to buy equipment.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner told BBC Radio that the impact of funding shortages in schools was “really devastating.”
Ms Rayner said: “Seven thousand headteachers don’t just write a letter, they are not politically active, they are not the kind of workers who will go to the government.
“They are embarrassed about having to say that they can’t afford to provide the services that our children deserve.”
She pointed to the Institute for Fiscal Studies that said schools are seeing their budgets cut by 8 per cent in real terms.
“There is a real crisis in our schools in England and the government are not even prepared to defend their record on this,” she added.
Ms Rayner said Labour would increase funding to schools by an extra £5.6 billion a year by 2022.
Headteachers’ union NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said: “This feels like a pivotal moment. School budgets are at absolute breaking point.
“Yet the government’s response is one of institutional deafness.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.