There was a great turnout at last night’s Open Parent Forum. The Governors and I wanted to provide our community with information about UK schools’ budgets and how the proposed changes and current system affects our school.
We’re holding a very informal one on Thursday morning, where I envisage parents simply coming in to the school hall to sign the necessary campaign letters – attached for you to read in advance if you’d like.
For many years Devon has been one of the lowest-funded education authorities in England. In 2016-17 this resulted in a shortfall of £290 per student when compared to the national average, which roughly equates to a 5th teacher for our 4 classes if, for instance, we were located in Durham’s Local Authority. This puts our children at a disadvantage in terms of ability to provide resources, teachers and teaching assistants to our school.
The government is proposing a new ‘fairer funding formula’ for schools to iron out some of the inequalities in current funding. Whilst we support this concept, the formula proposed will see 61.9% of pupils in Devon going to schools that would be worse off as a result of the proposals. Devon LA would move from the 30 lowest funded (out of 150) to the 11th lowest.
Even for schools like ours, which may see some small increases in allocation, the Office of National Statistics has estimated that schools are facing real term cuts of 8% in the coming years. So effectively these gains are irrelevant and don’t address the fact that our pupils in Devon are starting with a much lower base of funding.
The only way schools like ours will achieved a balanced budget is by making real cuts which will directly impact on the outcomes for children. Without further investment in education in our local area, it will become increasingly challenging for schools to provide the experience and support to children that they so deserve from our state education system – the support available in classes and the size of classes could look very different in the future.
Last night, just like other schools locally and nationally have done, we were able to discuss a lot of this but also provide information about what our community could do about this.
Please sign the petition form:
Please respond to the New Fundong Formula, and feel rfree to skip to Q14 where you can use some of the prompts from our briefing paper attached:
Please also take a look at these other websites:
But also, please read this info and send off these letters!