9 March 2017
Re: School Funding 2017 onwards
Please find attached a copy of a very important letter to our local MPs relating to school funding both now and in the future.
Sadly, emergency funding is yet to be offered to our chronically underfunded schools. Of equal concern is the fact that current proposals in the new National Funding Formula do not provide anything like the necessary uplift in funding that is required. As a result, schools like ours, and across West Sussex (and in many other counties) may to have to resort to inadequate levels of staffing and are seeing class sizes increase. Vital pastoral support and counselling services are being diminished and there is not enough money for basic equipment.
We continue to lobby the Department for Education and at two recent meetings we have highlighted the need for a much better funding settlement. Many of you have also contacted our local MP to raise your concerns – this is much appreciated.
Local politicians have completed work on our behalf but ultimately their voice needs to be much louder and much more explicit; hence our call for a joint statement which clearly identifies the failings of current funding proposals.
It is misleading for politicians to say that school funding will go up under a new formula when hidden costs and stealth taxes mean that, in real terms, per pupil funding is getting worse, not better. Equally, we are dismayed that vast sums of money are being pumped into Grammar and Free School expansion at the expense of our own schools and pupils. It is perfectly acceptable to fund capital projects to increase school places that are needed in many parts of the country. It is not acceptable, however, to waste huge sums on projects which do not provide value for money at a time when cash is in such short supply and our school needs an injection of cash.
How can you help?
Please continue to lobby your MP. Ultimately, they have to vote for a new National Funding Formula and be responsible for supporting or not supporting the spending patterns of the Department for Education.
Shortly, school leaders will also be providing a user friendly document, along with the website address, to help you to complete the official consultation on the Funding Formula. Please make sure you respond to this before the deadline of 22 March – it is vital that parents’ voices are heard through the official process.
Please be assured that we will continue to do everything in our power to provide the high quality levels of education that your child, and every child, deserves and continue to serve the locality and community of Southbourne.
Mrs Yvonne Watkins