Headteacher calls for unity as school budget cuts loom

Northstead headteacher Stan Jackson
Northstead headteacher Stan Jackson

A Scarborough headteacher is urging parents to contact MP Robert Goodwill to voice concerns over the “horrendous” cuts to school budgets.

Stan Jackson, headteacher of Northstead Community Primary School. believes it is time for action ahead of introduction of the national funding formula which could see an alarming £4.8million slashed from budgets of Scarborough and Filey schools, according to teachers’ unions’ analysis.

Scarborough primary schools are facing a shortfall in their budgets for 2019/20 including Braeburn Primary and Nursery (£301,742), Friarage Community Primary School (£252,201) and Northstead Community Primary School (£276,564).

Mr Jackson said: “We are very proud of our school, our pupils and the many successes we have enjoyed over recent years. We are very concerned about the potential damage that such a budget cut could have on our school, particularly its capacity to continue to provide quality education.

“This is a challenge for us all. Certainly in my 36 years in education, I have never witnessed anything like this.”

Analysis, based on information for 19,719 schools published as part of the national funding formula consultation, indicates 98% of schools will face cuts in per pupil funding - with schools in North Yorkshire facing an average reduction of £379 per pupil.

The Education Policy Institute claims the average secondary school will lose almost £300,000 each, while primary schools could lose out on more than £70,000.

Northstead School could lose £444 per pupil, which is equivalent to eight full time teachers potentially losing their positions.

Although Mr Jackson confirmed that no member of staff will lose their job, he did say the cuts will “bite hard” and prevent Northstead from implementing some planned exciting initiatives.

He said: “This Friday, our governors meet to finally set a budget for the current year. While committed to keeping the impact of these cuts to a minimum, we have nevertheless had to make some difficult decisions.

“We surely can’t just do nothing. An ’ostrich’ mentality of burying our heads in the sand and hoping this will just ‘go away’ will achieve nothing. The school would encourage all of you to write to Mr Goodwill to give a very strong message that the education of our children really does matter.”

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