Joint Headteacher Action – 28 September 2018
I am making contact to let you know that on Friday 28 September, I am joining hundreds of other Headteachers from across the country in support of a mass event intended to gain significantly improved funding for all schools.
As Headteachers we have the full support of our Governing Bodies/Trusts as we continue to champion the best possible funding for all our schools. I want to reassure you that I remain steadfastly determined and act without any political bias. These have been the hallmarks of our campaign work to date.
I am sure you are aware of the challenges that schools up and down the country are facing. A mixture of rising costs and stresses on other support services has meant that for many years we have been being asked “to do more with less”.
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 all 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.
In July, the Institute for Fiscal Studies echoed what we have been saying for a long time and confirmed that, in real terms, school budgets have been slashed by 8% since 2010.
We believe it is simply not good enough for the Government to state that “more money is spent on schools than ever before”, when independent evidence clearly states that in real terms, this is simply not the case and we can all cite many examples.
Headteachers will gather at Downing Street to insist that the Chancellor and his colleagues at the Department for Education use the upcoming autumn statement to invest properly in our schools and your child’s education and future. Many of the real terms cuts to our budgets should be reversed and urgent investment is required for SEND and post-16 budgets.
The support that we have enjoyed from parents and carers has been very welcome and we will continue to update you on all of our forthcoming actions. We are determined to campaign until a much better and fairer settlement is reached in order to support your child/children and the future prosperity of the country as a whole.
Mrs Y Watkins