Huddersfield Daily Examiner

‘School cuts might leave us in the dark’



A CASH-STRAPPED primary school in Calderdale is in such dire financial straits it is saving money by having a weekly “dark day” – when they turn all the lights off, campaigner­s say.

The headteache­r, who hasn’t been named, apparently made the extreme decision in order to free up cash in the budget.

Campaigner­s say the idea was put past staff and parents before being introduced and it hasn’t resulted in any practical problems.

It’s has been explained to children as the “dark day” at the school.

The news comes as research highlighti­ng the scale of financial problems in schools across the country came to light.

Figures from a survey of 1,678 teachers found 69% of secondary school heads have had to cut teaching staff to save money. The issue regarding the school was raised by Sue McMahon, chairperso­n of campaign group Calderdale Against School Cuts.

She said: “At this particular school they call them dark days – the lights just aren’t turned on.

“What a terrible situation that it really has come to a crunch point if that is happening.”

The Department for Education refused to touch on the issue specifical­ly relating to the school turning off its lights in Calderdale but did provide a comment.

A spokesman said: “Since 2017 the Government has given every local authority in England more money for every pupil in every school – allocating the biggest increases to the schools that have been most underfunde­d – and in the last year we have also announced an extra £400m of capital funding for schools from the Treasury.

“Funding in Calderdale has increased by £9.5million compared to 2017-18, taking into account pupil numbers.

“While there is more money going into our schools than ever before, we know schools face budgeting challenges.

“This is why we have introduced a wide range of support to help schools reduce costs and get the best value from their resources – from a freeto-use vacancy service to cut the costs of recruiting teachers, to advisors who are providing expert help and support to individual schools that need it.

“The Secretary of State has made clear that as we approach the next spending review, he will back headteache­rs to have the resources they need to deliver a world-class education.”

 ??  ?? A protest against the school cuts in Calderdale
A protest against the school cuts in Calderdale
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