SCHOOLS IN FUND CRI­SIS

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

SEC­ONDARY schools in Buck­ing­hamshire face a ‘crit­i­cal po­si­tion’ with fund­ing, head­teach­ers have warned.

The Buck­ing­hamshire As­so­ci­a­tion of Sec­ondary Teach­ers has writ­ten to Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May and Jus­tine Green­ing, Sec­re­tary of State for Ed­u­ca­tion, say­ing schools are in fi­nan­cial cri­sis and ur­gently need ad­di­tional fund­ing for the 2017-18 aca­demic year.

They ac­cuse the gov­ern­ment of show­ing a “distressing mis­un­der­stand­ing of the re­al­ity of ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing in Eng­land, and a lack of em­pa­thy with all of us who have de­voted our lives to pro­vid­ing the best pos­si­ble ed­u­ca­tion for the chil­dren in all of our schools”.

The let­ter is signed by Alan Rosen, head­teacher of Ayles­bury High School, and Pete Rowe, head­teacher of Princes Ris­bor­ough School, on be­half of all mem­bers of the Buck­ing­hamshire As­so­ci­a­tion of Sec­ondary Head­teach­ers.

It says: “We do not seek spe­cial treat­ment for our sec­tor of schools, nor for Buck­ing­hamshire, but ask that you ur­gently pro­vide ad­di­tional fund­ing to all of the low­est-funded schools in Eng­land for the forth­com­ing fi­nan­cial year, pend­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of the de­layed Na­tional Fund­ing For­mula (NFF).

“We strongly be­lieve that to in­flict yet an­other year of hard­ship on the schools, who for too many years have suf­fered the most from the in­iq­ui­tous na­tional fund­ing set-up, would be ex­tremely dam­ag­ing.”

The as­so­ci­a­tion says, if based in Wandsworth, a typ­i­cal Bucks sec­ondary school would re­ceive an ex­tra £400,000 to £500,000 per year.

Even be­ing funded at the lev­els of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties on Buck­ing­ham- shire’s borders would gen­er­ate an ad­di­tional £200,000 to £500,000, it claims.

“This scale of in­equity is in­de­fen­si­ble,” the let­ter read, “par­tic­u­larly when it is repli­cated ev­ery year and be­comes in­cre­men­tal.”

The head­teach­ers say there is ad­di­tional money that should have been put to schools’ bud­gets for 2017-18, to en­able the NFF to go ahead and ask for the sum al­lo­cated to be used to boost the low­est­funded schools pend­ing the NFF.

They added: “Ms Green­ing has been quoted as say­ing that the NFF was de­layed to ‘…avoid un­cer­tainty for schools and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties dur­ing au­tumn 2016’; for all schools in our predica­ment, the op­po­site is true and it guar­an­tees in­sta­bil­ity in ed­u­ca­tion at a time when fur­ther in­sta­bil­ity is the last thing that we need.”

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