Kingston Headteachers’ “polite” walk to Downing Street
Last Friday, a large contingent of Headteachers from Kingston and New Malden, joined nearly two thousand teachers from across the country to present a letter to Downing Street, expressing serious concerns about drastically reduced school budgets and the implications of these cuts in real terms affecting our local schools.
Headteachers gathered at Downing Street to insist that the Chancellor and his colleagues at the Department for Education invest properly in their students’ education and the future prosperity of the country.
In an interview at the school with Richard Gaisford, Chief Correspondent for ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme, Mr Sean Maher, Headteacher of Richard Challoner School in New Malden, expressed his concerns: “Schools have worked hard during this period of austerity to cut costs, make efficiencies and work with falling budgets. There is nothing left to cut other than staffing, school days or support for our most vulnerable students. We want to work with Government to avoid falling off the cliff edge”.
Despite very challenging circumstances in which schools are constantly asked “to do more with less”, and working extremely hard and with greater efficiency on behalf of the students, the financial situation is now unsustainable. Services and resources are cut to the bone and class sizes are increasing. Occasionally schools are even having to top up their budgets with monies targeted for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Schools acknowledge that the Government should be given credit for introducing a new National Funding Formula, however, the formula is not adequately resourced/funded and therefore budgets remain at an unacceptably low level.