Scarborough headteacher calls on parents to petition Government over ‘inexplicable’ school funding cuts

Newby and Scalby School Head Chris Knowles, pictured here at a Sport Relief fundraiser racing the pupils. ''pic Richard Ponter 161116a
Newby and Scalby School Head Chris Knowles, pictured here at a Sport Relief fundraiser racing the pupils. ''pic Richard Ponter 161116a

A Scarborough headteacher has hit out at a lack of Government funding in schools which he says means youngsters are not getting the education they deserve.

School leaders across the country have sent letters home to pupils’ parents and carers to warn them about the lack of funding and the difficult choices schools are having to make as a result.

Chris Knowles, Headteacher at Newby and Scalby Primary School and North Yorkshire Branch Secretary for school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Children only get one chance at their education and the current funding crisis means this generation of young people in North Yorkshire are not getting the education they deserve.

“As school leaders, we have a duty to inform parents of what is happening in our schools.

“We ask them to join with us in calling on the Government to give us the funding we and their children so desperately need.”

In North Yorkshire alone, the average cut to primary schools is £15,178 and in secondarys, £84,260.

A total of 199 schools have taken part across North Yorkshire, reaching more than 60,000 homes. The letters encourage parents to sign a petition asking the Government for increased school funding, which has reached more than 100,000 signatures already, and forced a debate in Parliament which took place yesterday.

The letters say: “As a school, we feel that it is our duty to provide parents with a fair and accurate picture of the real state of school funding in our area.

“All state schools in England are funded by a central government grant that is administered by the Department for Education (DfE).

“According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), school funding per pupil has fallen 8% in real terms since 2010.

“Schools are having to make difficult choices on how to spend their limited funding as their income has not kept pace with the rise in costs since 2010.

“All schools are working very hard to ‘make ends meet’ but this is becoming increasingly difficult and verging on almost impossible.

“Bank of England information shows that £100 of goods in 2010 cost £121.90 in 2017 (which is approximately a 20% increase), and school funding has not kept up with the increase in costs.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, slammed the Government and said it was “utterly inexplicable” that they had failed to act on school budgets and that only new money from the Treasury could solve the crisis.

Click here for the petition.