A head teacher in Eastwood has admitted she is “unsure how schools are going to manage over the coming years” because of government cuts in funding.
And she has won the support of the town’s Labour MP, Gloria De Piero, who has raised the plight of children’s education in a debate at the House Of Commons.
Ms De Piero says head Jacquie Sainsbury told her she had been forced to make savings of more than £200,000 from her budget at the 400-pupil Brookhill Leys Primary and Nursery School on Chewton Street.
“She says it’s impossible to find enough money to cover the costs of building and maintenance work, special needs support, educational resources and support staff,” said the MP. “Does the government not have a duty to help head teachers such as Mrs Sainsbury?”
Mrs Sainsbury told the Advertiser: “While budgets are not necessarily going down, pupil numbers are increasing and services that were once paid for directly by the government or local authorities now have to be paid for from the schools’ individual budgets.
“This has an impact on schools, ranging from resoruces they can or cannot afford to the amount of teachers they can employ.
“When schools have big projects they want to complete, such as transforming playgrounds or buying new staging, there isn’t the money to do these things any more.
“As costs go up, budgets are largely being reduced, and I am unsure how schools are going to manage over the coming years. Our local MP raised this in Parliament and asked the government what she should say to head teachers who aren’t able to afford what they need in their schools.”
Published figures say the reduction in per-pupil funding at mainstream schools will be between eight and 12 per cent by 2019.
Ms De Piero added: “This government is overseeing the first real-terms cut in school budgets for decades. When Labour was in power, spending increased by an average of 4.2 per cent a year. But now schools are struggling more and more to plug the gaps in their funding.
“Soon, the only way to make savings will be by cutting teachers, which will mean class sizes rise and the children’s education suffers.”