Headteachers from schools across Bath and North East Somerset have described a ‘funding crisis’ which they say is causing problems at their schools.
The team of headteachers came together to host an open meeting with parents and the community in which they stated that they are “incapable of giving proper support to their pupils because of the decrease in funding from the government”.
The meeting was held at Twerton Infants School in Bath earlier this week. The school recently had to rely on members of the community for help to pay for a growing list of refurbishments that were needed but were out of the school’s budget.
Headteachers gave a series of speeches at the event, giving parents and the wider community an insight into the day to day running of their schools and the problems that they are facing.
Welton Primary School’s headteacher, John Snell, was one of the heads who spoke, he told the meeting that his school has only one teaching assistant for over 100 Yr 2 pupils and that this lack of support has meant that teachers have had to multi-task in areas where they’re not fully equipped.
He was not alone in problems with lack of funding for staff support. Julie Hogan, who is head at Paulton Infants School, said that her staff has to rely on the community for support and that the school struggles to provide their pupils with basic resources. She added that this lack of resources would likely have a negative impact on the children.
The keynote speech was given by Rob Kelsall, the National Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers. He revealed that school budgets are continuing to drop and that nationally, education spending as a percentage of national income had gone down by over a quarter in the last seven years. This has resulted in schools having to cut 11,000 staff across the country despite pupil numbers rising and that many schools are having to start closing early on a Friday because they can’t afford to run five days a week.
The revelations have caused a group of parents to set up a local movement of the national campaign ‘Fair Funding for all Schools.’
They have contacted Bath MP, Wera Hobhouse and are working on raising awareness of the problems so they can start to lobby for better school funding.