As we await today's budget and what it may mean for school funding, here is a letter recently circulated on behalf of 27 Reading Head Teachers:
Dear parent or carer,
On behalf of 27 Reading Head teachers
You may have seen a number of stories in the press around school funding. There have been worrying headlines and we felt it important that we let you know, as far as we are able at this stage, how this will affect schools.
School budgets across the country have been under pressure for some time. The senior leadership teams at many schools have been faced with funding challenges, leading to a number of tough decisions being made at some schools. In time, it will affect more schools.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has shown that more than half of school leaders felt that their budget would be untenable by 2018/19. The National Audit Office estimate a £3 billion real terms cut across all phases and in all schools.
The recent headlines have been caused by a proposed new funding formula for schools, designed to create a fairer allocation. However, with increasing costs placed onto all schools, including higher pension and national insurance contributions as well as the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, the new formula will not bring the benefits that we had hoped to see. The School Cuts website, analysing DfE data, projects that schools in our local authority will lose £7,275,456 in total (data from www.schoolcuts.org.uk/).
We will work hard to ensure that cuts have the least impact on teaching possible. However, rising costs and a frozen budget mean that tough decisions will have to be taken. We cannot guarantee that such cuts will not affect teaching, despite doing our utmost to prevent this.
Please be assured that we will take absolute care with budgets, to ensure all the money we have is spent effectively on your children. We are also letting the local authority and government know just how serious the funding issue has become.
We will certainly let you know in plenty of time if our budget means we’ll have to take a significant decision on staffing or activities.
M Bainbridge St Marys & All Saints Primary
L Bedlow Caversham Children’s Centre & Newbridge Nursery
S Bergson Redlands Primary
N Browne Moorlands Primary & Park Lane Primary
J Budge Blagdon Nursery
M Buller St Anne’s Catholic Primary &St Martin’s Catholic Primary
J Carroll English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary
C Clare Geoffrey Field Junior
J Cosgrove Christ the King Catholic Primary
M Cosgrove The Ridgeway Primary
C Doberska New Christ Church CE Primary
D Cox The Hill Primary
T Crossman Emmer Green Primary
S Daniel All Saints Junior School
K Edwards The Heights Primary
S Farrow Geoffrey Field Infant
D Heath Norcot Nursery
M Frost Micklands Primary
J Gray Battle Primary Academy
J McMinn E P Collier Primary
E Payne Blagrave Nursery
S Pengelly Coley Primary
G Ray Caversham Park Primary
K Salter Whitley Park Primary
F Swain Manor Primary
L Telling Katesgrove Primary & Southcote Primary
H Wallace Thameside Primary