Schools that are struggling financially should be asking their parents to pay £1 every week to help pay for their teachers’ CPD – continual professional development – costs.
The call comes from teacher training supremo Sir Andrew Carter who chairs the government’s teacher training review.
He said a radical approach is necessary for dealing with underfunding and says parents should pay for the extra costs that come with running a school.
He told delegates at the Academies Show that schools should be adding 2% to their annual staff budget to help pay for CPD properly.
Sir Andrew said: “If you cannot do it, ask your parents for £1 a week.”
Parents to pay a premium for services provided by the school
He has previously urged parents to pay a premium for those services that are provided by the school which are above the school’s basic responsibilities.
As part of his speech, Sir Andrew also said that general funding shortfalls should be addressed by going to parents if the government will not stump up more cash for secondary schools.
He later went on to compare education with the NHS which he said had managed to decide what it could afford to provide and said education is now facing the same issue of deciding what to fund.
His call came a few days after a director of the Centre for Education Improvement Science urged for secondary school class sizes to be significantly increased.
Free up more time for teachers to undergo their CPD
According to Prof Becky Allen, the move would then free up more time for teachers to undergo their CPD.
Prof Alan was speaking in New York and said that larger class sizes are not just for those in primary schools but also for older children.
She explained that increasing class sizes could lead to a large reduction in the number of teacher contact hours and provide more time for CPD.
At the Academies Show, Sir Andrew says schools may need to think the unthinkable and have parents pay for more things in school.
He said that schools already charge for clubs, music tuition and trips and should be asked to pay more.
Charging parents more to provide a better quality of education
In response to a question from a delegate attending the event that charging parents more to provide a better quality of education would ‘be unfair’.
Sir Andrew said: “Parents pay through their taxes for schools anyway.
“A simple sum is that if every child paid £1 a day your school would have £60,000 more a year. That will provide two members of staff for teaching. It’s that simple.”
He said that schools will struggle along while their governors will find themselves overwhelmed by money problems that are out of control.