Justine Greening: Act now on funding before our children’s education suffers
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UPDATE: We have now organised a meeting to take place at Burlington School, Burlington Road, New Malden on Monday 13 March at 8pm to discuss the issues facing school funding. Speakers will be able to clarify the complex nature of the problems, how they are affecting your children's schools and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. This meeting has been arranged by parents for parents. Please come and take part in the discussion. For more information, please see:
https://www.facebook.com/FF4allschools or follow us at on twitter at @FF4allschools.
As parents, we want to show support and stand with our head teachers, in the boroughs of Kingston and Richmond, in the concerns they have openly shared about funding and teacher recruitment. We call for the government to urgently address these concerns before there is a lasting negative impact on the education of children.
In an open letter to government, the head teachers have voiced their concerns over the future funding and teacher recruitment crisis in our schools. The issues raised are national issues that are compounded by differing factors at a local level.
As parents of children in local schools, or as members of the wider community, we want the Government and the schools to know that we are listening and action must be taken.
The head teachers have laid out for all to see the specific concerns they have over funding and recruitment in these boroughs. We support them in getting their message heard and urge Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education and the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to act now before it is too late.
Please sign the petition now to show your support for the concerns about education funding and teacher recruitment highlighted by our head teachers.
Britt Armstrong Gash, PTA Co-Chair, Coombe Hill Junior School
Ella Fearon-Low, Parent Council Chair, Coombe Hill Junior School
Claire Rudkin, Parent, Kingston Academy
Taki Austin, Parent Governor, Coombe Hill Infants School
Lucy Davey, PTA Chair, Corpus Christi RC Primary School
Bansri Dodhia, Parent Governor, Coombe Federation
Sandra Eager, PCSA Co-Chair, King Athelstan Primary School
Sarah Evason, Parent and Governor, Burlington Junior School
Michelle Guy, Parent Governor, Burlington Infant School
Catherine Havers, PTA Chair, The Kingston Acadamy
Sarah Hoeksma, PTA Co-chair, Christ Church New Malden Primary School
Jim Huggett, Parent, St Agatha’s Catholic Primary School
Sarah Jessop, Parent and Governor, Kings Oak Primary School
Shelley Mills, Parent Governor, Coombe Federation
Clair Newton, Parent Governor, Coombe Federation
Gemma Hayley Newton, PTA Chair, Burlington Infant and Junior School
Lucy Pallet, PSA Chair, Alexandra School
Tiffany Power, Parent, Grey Court School
Samia al Qadhi, Parent Governor, Coombe Federation
Anna Stone, PTA Co-chair, Christ Church New Malden Primary School
Katie Wilson, PTA Chair, Coombe Hill Infants School
The following are excerpts from the letter of concern by the head teachers of Kingston and Richmond that was delivered to No 10, the Secretary of State for Education, local MPs and councillors. Please click this link to read the whole letter containing details of the financial and recruitment challenges faced by these schools: Letter of Concern
“As a group of Head teachers, we write reluctantly but urgently to call on policy makers, including the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education, to act now to support schools before the funding and recruitment crises send education into a further downward spiral. It is our collective concern that this continued trajectory will have a negative impact on generations of young people to come and on the local society to which they belong.
No school, no teacher and no school leader wants to let their children fail. However, the situation faced by local schools means that we will soon be at the point where leaders are forced to make drastic decisions that will significantly impact on young people’s lives and education . . .
. . . The combined effect of the reduced income and increased costs has resulted in a real time reduction in overall funding of around 8-9% since 2013/14. With further increases in employer pension contributions (for both Teacher and Local Government schemes) and the Apprenticeship Levy, this funding gap is set to increase to 12-13% within the next 2 years. The situation is not sustainable and is beyond the control of schools or school leaders.
Education is at a tipping point; we are reluctantly voicing our concerns before it is too late.
Specifically, we call on government to provide an in-year boost to school funding and to work with school leaders to focus on resolving the teacher recruitment crisis as opposed to tampering with structures and systems.
Furthermore, we suggest that additional funding is found centrally to help Kingston and Richmond overcome their specific budget difficulties and request an accelerated introduction of the national funding formulae in order to eradicate local idiosyncrasies in the system.”
Link to related Surrey Comet article covering the delivery of the letter to No 10: Letter delivery to No 10.
Justine Greening: Act now on funding before our children’s education is compromised!
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