Headteacher's desperate plea for school funding - The Stratford Observer

Headteacher's desperate plea for school funding

Stratford Editorial 14th Mar, 2019   0

A DESPERATE plea for more school funding has fallen on deaf ears says a district headteacher.

Alcester Grammar principle Chris Sentance says he has been forced to write to parents following growing concerns over ‘severe’ government cuts to school budgets.

He said ‘intense lobbying of the government’ had been ignored and matters remained ‘extremely challenging’.

Areas of concern included increasing class sizes and a lack of resources to support more vulnerable pupils.

He believed those with special educational needs and disabilities were ‘bearing the brunt of cuts’.

The letter outlined a number of requests to meet with education secretary Damian Hinds and minister of state Nick Gibb which had been rebuffed due to a ‘full diary’.

Mr Sentance wrote: “Given the seriousness of the current school funding crisis and the impact upon schools, children and families, head teacher colleagues and I believe that this approach is entirely ill-judged.

“Thousands of head teachers simply do not understand what issues could be seen as more important than the ones we are raising on behalf of schools, children and families.

“We continue to recognise that there is not a ‘bottomless pit’ of money and also acknowledge that many local MPs from across the political spectrum are taking a supportive approach. We must make clear, however, that the current response from the Department for Education is inadequate.”

Mr Sentance was among some 7,000 headteachers who wrote letters, as part of school funding campaign group ‘WorthLess?’, in which they voiced concerns to parents and urged them to lobby their MP.

The campaign was founded last summer and includes schools from over 60 areas united to challenge the education department over the ‘crisis’.

An education department spokesperson this week said school funding in England was at its highest ever level, rising to nearly £41billion last year and was expected to rise to £43.5billion by 2020.

Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi had not responded to our request for comment at the time of going to press.


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