Catharine Darnton, Headteacher at Gillotts School along with around 5,500 other headteachers who are part of the Worth Less? Schools have written to Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer on Tuesday each enclosing an invoice for their county. Catharine enclosed an invoice for £142,916,072 for the shortfall of money for Oxfordshire schools which is one of the worst funding authorities in the country.
Gillotts School is looking at a cut in funding of £149.6K* by 2020 with 3 teachers being lost (*Schools Cut stats).
In her letter Catharine said, “You will recall that Headteachers wrote to you and visited 11 Downing Street in November 2017 requesting a much greater improvement to the budgets of schools in very low-funded counties. We were surprised and disappointed that, after providing a detailed and cogent letter, the response from your office was superficial and inadequate. Unsurprisingly, the key issues that we pointed out – a chronic lack of funding to support reasonable teacher/pupil ratios, excellent curricular provision and adequate help for our most vulnerable pupils to name but a few – persist.”
Despite the introduction of a much needed new National Funding Formula that is set for April 2018 – the Worth Less? Schools analysis of DfE statistics has shown that vast funding differentials will persist between the lowest funded authorities and those which are adequately funded. Accordingly and using DfE statistics only, Worth Less? have compared the funding that students would receive if they were funded at the average levels (Primary and Secondary) of the London Borough of Westminster. The total difference in funding between Worth Less? schools and Westminster is in excess of £3.5 billion.
It is extraordinary that some English secondary schools will receive 60% less funding than others of the same size.
As costs continue to rise and teacher shortages reach crisis point the implications for Worth Less? schools and academies are profound:
- A corrosive effect on school standards and performance
- Students will receive far less curricular and extra-curricular opportunities
- Social mobility is significantly and negatively impacted
- Small and/or rural primary schools will be forced into insolvency/closure
Catharine said, “We hope that this latest action will reinforce the message that the low levels of school funding in many parts of the country is an issue that will not go away. We would like the Treasury and the Department for Education to engage meaningfully with us so that they understand the impact that the shortage of funding is having on the children and teachers in our schools. All the statistics we quote are theirs and they have never challenged them. It therefore only seems reasonable that we should be invited for professional discussions on how the huge inequities in funding between different parts of the country under the new National Funding Formula can be addressed.”