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Budget Cuts

'WORTH LESS' FUNDING CAMPAIGN

Mass Headteacher Action – 28th September 2018

 

We are making contact to let you know that on Friday 28 September, we will be joining hundreds of other Headteachers and Chairs of Governing Bodies from across the country in support of a mass event intended to gain much improved funding for all schools. 

 

Headteachers have the full support of their Governing Bodies as we continue to champion the best possible funding for all our schools.  We will remain steadfastly determined, relentlessly reasonable and act without any political bias.   These have been the hallmarks of the campaign work to date.

 

You will be aware of the challenges that schools up and down the country are facing.  A mixture of rising costs and stresses on other support services has meant that for many years we have been being asked “to do more with less”. 

 

Under a challenging period of austerity for the Government we understand that there is not a bottomless pit of money.  Accordingly, schools have played their part to work even harder and with greater efficiency on behalf of the children and families that we serve.

 

It is clear to all Headteachers and governors, however, that matters are unsustainable.  Frequently, we do not have enough money to meet the demands placed on our schools.  On the ground, services and resources are cut to the bone and class sizes are increasing.  At times, schools are even having to prop up our budgets with monies that should be targeted at those students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, or those that have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

 

Under the umbrella of the campaign group ‘Worth Less?’, Headteachers and governors have shone a light on the funding difficulties that we are facing. We acknowledge that the Government should be given credit for introducing a new National Funding Formula.  Unfortunately, however, the formula itself is not adequately resourced/funded and therefore our budgets remain in an unacceptably poor state. 

 

In July, the Institute for Fiscal Studies echoed what we have been saying for a long time and confirmed that, in real terms, school budgets have been slashed by 8% since 2010.

https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/13143

 

It is simply not good enough for the Government to state that “more money is spent on schools than ever before”, when independent evidence clearly states that in real terms, this is simply not the case. 

 

Headteachers and Chairs of Governing Bodies will gather at Downing Street to insist that the chancellor and his colleagues at the Department for Education use the upcoming autumn statement to invest properly in our schools and your child’s education.  Many of the real terms cuts to our budgets should be reversed and urgent investment is required for SEND and post-16 budgets. 

 

The support that we have enjoyed from parents and carers has been very welcome and we will continue to update you on all of our forthcoming actions.  We are determined to campaign until a much better and fairer settlement is reached in order to support your child/children and the future prosperity of the country as a whole. 

NEWS RELEASE

Schools ask for ‘Funds, Glorious Funds’

 

Warrington school children are setting their own challenge to the Government over fairer funding with a unique take on ‘Food, Glorious Food’.

 

Youngsters from 11 schools have united to put a new ‘twist’ on the classic ‘Oliver!’ theme, changing the focus from ‘food’ to ‘funds’.

 

With lyrics such as Funds, glorious funds, New paper and pencils!’ and ‘Rich schools have it, boys - long term protection!’ the song aims to highlight the uncertainty Warrington schools are feeling over the government’s new National Funding Formula, and the harmful impact they fear it may have on education.

 

The video, produced by Sir Thomas Boteler High School, has been uploaded to You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yufe4vA5fdc and a website has been set up at www.fundsgloriousfunds.com, to spread the message.

 

Children and staff are hoping the video will grab people’s attention – from the public, to schools, to the Government - to help raise awareness of the issue and convince politicians to think again.

 

The initiative has been spearheaded by head teacher at Woolston Community Primary School, Craig Burgess, who has been campaigning for several years to achieve more funds for Warrington schools.

 

He said: “This is such an important issue, so we wanted to come up with a creative way of really getting the message out there. I spoke to some of my colleagues who said schools are currently in a position where we are having to beg, just like Oliver Twist. That was the inspiration I needed to write a new version of Food Glorious Food, targeted at the Government.

 

“Ten more schools quickly came on board and recorded their own performance of the song. All of the versions, featuring hundreds of school children, have been combined to make a powerful, multi-school video, which we hope expresses our fears in a way that resonates across the country.

 

 

“Schools across Warrington hoped the National Funding Formula would be the answer to our prayers – but it has, in fact, been the opposite.   We are already the tenth worst funded education authority in the country, how can we lose more? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m hopeful that, through this initiative, we can send out the message that these plans are not meeting the needs of children. Hopefully, we can play our part in securing a fairer deal for our schools.”

 

Councillor Jean Carter, Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for children’s services, added: “I applaud Woolston Primary School for starting up this initiative and for all those schools who have come on board. It’s a fantastic, imaginative way of telling the Government, in no uncertain terms, what they think about the funding plans.

 

“The current formula is extremely unfair for authorities like ours and we would implore the Government – ‘please sir, we want some more’. It’s great that children are taking action themselves and uniting to help get this message to the Chancellor.”

 

Notes to editors

  • In 2015 the government recognised the ‘postcode lottery’ that exists across the country and promised to introduce a fairer and less complex funding system for schools. The Department for Education announced in March 2016 a single, national funding formula intended to ensure that ‘areas with the highest need will attract the most funding’.

 

· The new funding formula, set to be introduced from April 2018, will see Warrington’s schools lose almost a quarter of a million pounds a year and the borough become one of the worst-funded in the country. Sixty-three of Warrington’s 83 schools are set to lose money under the plans.

 

· If the proposals go ahead, only nine of England’s 150 authorities will receive less than Warrington. Based on current pupil numbers, schools in the best-funded areas would receive an average of £6,775 per pupil, while those in Warrington would receive £4,306 – a difference of £2,469 per pupil. Even compared to the national average, Warrington schools stand to receive £439 less.

 

  • The schools involved in the ‘Funds, Glorious Funds’ project are:

 

Appleton Thorn Community Primary

Broomfields Junior School

Newchurch Community Primary

Oakwood Community Primary

St. Ann’s Church of England Primary

St. Barnabas Church of England Primary

St. Matthew’s Church of England Primary

St. Philip Westbrook Church of England Primary

Thelwall Community Junior School

Twiss Green Community Primary

Woolston Community Primary

Campaign for ‘National Fair Funding’ for Schools – It’s NOT FAIR!

Warrington Children and St Matthew’s Children WILL Suffer!

 

We all know that in budget terms, ‘times are hard’; we have become practised at making economies.  Due to proposed Government cuts in education I am now moved to write to you about our own school budget, which is now being pushed towards, and beyond, breaking point.  I am writing to give you information about a campaign which is taking place to try to influence the Government school funding model, which is referred to as the F40 group.

 

The existing school funding model is a muddle and funding for individual schools with similar pupil characteristics is arbitrary and unfair.  As a result, schools around the country, that are similar, can get very different budgets and children with the same needs can receive very different levels of financial support depending on where they go to school.  Warrington is currently ranked 127th out of 150 authorities in terms of the amount of funding they receive.  If the National Fair Funding consultation is passed Warrington will go from 127th to 141st.  In budget terms for us that is estimated to be a reduction of at least £18,943.

 

Per Pupil Funding:-

Proposed 2017/2018 value = £2,822.36 per pupil

Proposed 2018/2019 value = £2,712.00 per pupil

A REDUCTION OF £110.36 per pupil

 

Lump sum reduced from £140,000 to £110,000

Proposed Budget Cuts

Proposed Budget Cuts 1

The reality of the unfair funding is damage to learning and to the care of the pupils who need it most.  With this in mind, I would be very grateful indeed if you as parents could support this campaign to ensure we receive a fair funding for all our children.  The deadline for the consultation is Wednesday 22nd March 2017.

 

In an attempt to secure fair school funding and sufficient funding, we are asking whether you can support us in our campaign and we hope all parents and their families will play their part.

 

To Help You Can…

Visit the School Cuts website to find out more http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk/#/

 

CONTACT your PM              Helen Jones MP - Warrington North                      David Mowat MP - Warrington South

                                               Tel: 01925 232480                                                    Tel: 01925 231267

                                               Email: jonesh@parliament.uk                                   Email: david.mowat.mp@parliament.uk

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