LETTER: Concerns over school funding

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As a grandparent I am extremely worried at the funding crisis being experienced by schools at the present time.

As a former secondary school headteacher I know that schools cannot properly educate their pupils if there is insufficient funding.

As a head - What do you do? Maybe you don’t replace the three teachers who left the school last term. Or you tell each teaching department in the school that next year they can’t have any money to spend on books, materials, equipment etc.

The school trips that had been planned may have to be put off. The classroom assistants will have to go, so those pupils who rely on extra help during lessons will no longer have that help.

With less money, classes will have to be bigger, and those subjects on offer for GCSE which have only a small number of pupils - they won’t run at all.

Another way some schools may find themselves forced to act is to use any additional money designated for those pupils with special needs on the general running of the school.

This makes me very angry.

All these choices will result in a lower level of education for the pupils at the school. I would imagine that parents are extremely upset and concerned by this.

I know of headteachers in other parts of the country who are at their wits’ end trying to keep their school going amid severe cuts to the funding for their school. I am sure the same is true locally.

The government is putting together a national funding formula for schools, which in itself is a good thing, but a national formula is useless if insufficient money is made available.

Similarly, to remove the inequalities in funding for schools, which West Sussex heads have campaigned to have redressed, can only be achieved by injecting more money into the national education budget.

Parents and the public generally may be unaware that some schools could cease to operate unless this situation is addressed at government level as a matter of urgency.

Are parents locally going to wait and see what happens?

Or are they sufficiently concerned about their children’s educational futures to take some action - letting the government and the local MP know of their concerns and feelings, for example.

There cannot be anything more important than giving the children of our country the best possible education. They are UK’s future.

Tony Elder

Durrants Drive, Faygate

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