Wheathampstead mum ‘shocked’ by school funding cuts

Frances Knox.

Frances Knox. - Credit: Archant

A Wheathampstead mum is concerned about the effect Government funding cuts to schools will have on her son’s education, after receiving a letter signed by local headteachers.

Frances Knox, who has a nine-year-old son at St Helen’s CoE Primary School, said: “I was shocked to receive a letter from my son’s primary school, signed by 17 local headteachers, outlining the future funding crisis that schools are facing.

“Schools are losing £3 billion a year in real terms by 2020, meaning that secondary schools will have to cut approximately £300,000 from their budgets. This is the equivalent of losing six or more teachers.”

The letter, which was signed by various headteachers in Harpenden, Wheathampstead in Redbourn, including Jamie Brown from St Helen’s, urged parents to raise the issue of impending school funding cuts with future parliamentary candidates.

Frances said: “With the election in our midst, it’s up to the local community to hold the prospective parliamentary candidates to account to ask them what they will do to ensure schools are adequately funded to provide an excellent education for all in the next parliament.

“Good quality education is the lifeblood of a nation, and not the preserve of a few, and we need to ensure our children’s futures are secure.”

The letter from the headteachers warned that they cannot run schools on the future levels of funding, as many secondary schools will have to cut in excess of £200,000 to £300,000 from their budgets, which is the equivalent of losing six or more teachers.

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The headteachers wrote: “Headteachers are not a militant group but even in relatively affluent areas such as Sussex, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire, we are warning of an education system which will implode.

“Headteachers are usually optimistic; we quietly get on with making the best of whatever situation we are given. However, none of us can make the cuts we are going to have to make without serious consequences for our students.”

The heads urged parents to engage parliamentary candidates either face to face, at hustings or in an email or letter to their constituency office and to ask the following questions: ‘Are you aware of the future funding crisis in education?’ and ‘The present government has refused to give schools the money they need to cover the substantially increased costs that have been imposed on them. What will you do to ensure schools are adequately funded to provide an excellent education for all in the next parliament?’