Heads lead campaign to fix funding - The Evesham Observer

Heads lead campaign to fix funding

Evesham Editorial 21st Sep, 2018   0

FRUSTRATED Vale headteachers have called on parents to back a campaign to ensure better funding for Worcestershire pupils after revealing many county secondary schools are at a financial ‘crisis point’.

Headteachers at the three high schools across Evesham and Pershore are among the 34 Worcestershire chiefs to speak out and claimed funding per pupil had fallen by eight per cent in the past eight years, despite Government claims funding for education is at its highest level since 2010.

The Worth Less national campaign is being led on a local level by Droitwich Spa High School headteacher Natalie Waters and many of the county’s headteachers will make the trip to London next Friday (September 28) to lobby their MPs for a fairer deal.

One of the headteachers to air his views with a letter to parents and carers is Dr Tony Evans, headteacher at Prince Henry’s High School who joined his fellow school chiefs to warn parents they cannot prevent another year of belt tightening from affecting secondary school children with larger classes, few study options and less support for the most vulnerable all now on the timetable.

The letter does recognise a new method for allocating government money across the country has been a step towards a fairer system. However the headteachers insist say the gap between schools in Worcestershire and those over the border in south Birmingham is still far too wide.

While Dr Evans accepted the new National Funding Formula was a ‘step in the right direction’, a child in the West Midlands was substantially better funded than one of a similar age over the border in Worcestershire.

“It is unfair children being taught in Worcestershire receive less money than their peers in other parts of the country,” Dr Evans said.

“Whilst this is the case, it will always be unfair for Worcestershire children and it demonstrates the value for money that is achieved by Worcestershire schools in terms of the outcomes achieved.

“Yet, with additional funding, we could achieve so much more. That’s why we are part of the group of Worcestershire schools who have joined the national campaign to see that fair funding is received for our children.

A recent Institute of Fiscal Studies report which said the increase in education funding introduced under the National Fairer Funding formula was linked to rising pupil numbers and had actually fallen in real terms since 2010.

A recent OECD report also found England’s teachers had suffered the world’s second biggest pay cut with only teachers in crisis-ridden Greece worse off.

“We are also campaigning for enhanced sixth form funding, as the national rate of £4,000 per student has not increased for five years and is currently £5,000 less than what the Universities charge for their tuition.” Dr Evans added.

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