Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Headteachers urge fair government funding

HEADTEACHERS from South Oxfordshire have urged David Cameron to increase funding for their schools

HEADTEACHERS from South Oxfordshire have urged David Cameron to increase funding for their schools.

They were among secondary school heads from across Oxfordshire and the county?s six MPs who met at the Prime Minister?s Commons office.

The heads called for the issue of inequality between local authorities and the amount of funding per pupil to be resolved.

Daniel Sadler, headteacher of Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common, said: ?The fair funding argument is of vital importance to Chiltern Edge if we are to continue to provide a good education for our pupils.

?As we are in Oxfordshire, one of the lowest funded authorities in the country, we are up to a million pounds worse off each year than similar schools elsewhere. This is very unfair and completely unsustainable.?

Catharine Darnton, head of Gillotts School in Henley, said she had been able to build up a small reserve during the school?s first few years as an academy as a cushion against the unexpected.

?However, this is now being rapidly eroded just to be able to afford the pay rises the Government continues to award, despite our funding staying at the same cash value each year,? she said.

?We have already cut back on all areas except staffing and we have only the minimum level of staffing as it stands to be able to deliver the excellent education that we do.

?If the issue of fair funding is not addressed by 2017, we fear that the cuts we would be forced to make would have a negative impact on the quality of teaching and learning - that is not a position any headteacher wants to be in.?

Henley MP John Howell, who organised the meeting, said there was general acceptance that the issue needed addressing and that the longer the funding disparity had continued, the greater the disparity had become.

He said: ?We all understood the point being made about fair funding and that the issue has not been resolved.

?I am grateful for those schools that have returned petitions on this subject, which I can present in Parliament.?

The meeting also discussed recruiting and retaining good teachers, post-16 education, academy funding and rural schools.

Mr Howell said: ?We are also looking for schools to think creatively by, for example, greater collaboration and developing packages that could help with the cost of living issues crucial to retaining teachers.?

He said he anticipated presenting the petition at the end of the month.


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