Friday 10th March 2017
Dear Parent or Guardian,
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 our local schools.
School budgets across the country have been under pressure for some time. The senior leadership teams at each school within our Cluster of local schools, have been grappling with current funding challenges, which include:
- managing the additional costs to schools of local government pension scheme pension contributions increasing and apprenticeship levy charges of £2200 per school
- managing a £30 per pupil reduction in our budgets due to the removal of the Education Services Grant
- National policy changes to the way in which schools are to be funded (this relates to the Early Years National Funding Formula which has an impact from the 1st April and also the National Funding Formula for all schools which is due to be implemented from 2018/19).
This is leading to a number of tough decisions being made, as the average reduction in budgets across our Cluster Schools is -£77,420 (or across our Cluster Primary Schools is -£39,014). For each of our schools, the impact of any future reduction in budgets is extremely concerning.
Our schools are not alone. 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. This doesn’t just affect us.
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, the new formula will not bring the benefits that we had hoped to see. The School Cuts website (schoolcuts.org.uk), by analysing Department for Education data, projects that schools in our local authority will lose £28,094,220 in total.
As a group of head teachers and governors, we will continue to work hard to ensure that any 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 impact on teaching, despite doing our best to prevent this.
We are determined to make our voice heard and, if you also wish to express your concerns about this unacceptable situation, request that you visit the website schoolcuts.org.uk to sign a petition to ensure that school funding does not reduce in real terms, potentially affecting your child’s future education. There is also the opportunity for you to send a letter to your MP requesting that they raise the issue in Parliament.
Please be assured that we will take the utmost 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 crisis has become.
We promise to let you know you in plenty of time if our budget means we’ll have to take a significant decision on staffing or activities and have sent this letter to every family within our Cluster of Schools as listed at the top of the page.
Ettington C of E Primary School
Hampton Lucy C of E Primary School
Kineton C of E Primary School
Kineton High School
Moreton Morrell C of E Primary School
Temple Herdewyke Primary School
The Dassett C of E Primary School
Tysoe C of E Primary School
Wellesbourne C of E Primary School