Headteachers have warned government ministers that their schools are continuing to struggle in what they call a ‘desperate financial climate’.
The heads have written to the Education Secretary Damian Hinds as well as the Chancellor Philip Hammond to highlight the stark reality of trying to run schools on their current funding levels.
The teachers make clear that they need extra cash because their costs are spiralling and many services have had to be reduced or cut, a national newspaper reports.
The letter has been written by more than 80 headteachers from West Yorkshire and they say their schools are now facing rising class sizes.
Also, pupils are having to work in buildings that date from Victorian times but are now crumbling.
Schools have also reduced the number of teachers’ jobs
Schools have also reduced the number of teachers’ jobs available as they face growing deficits.
The heads also point out that the rising costs they are all facing are now out-stripping the money that is coming in.
The letter states that the ‘negative effects are myriad’ with a knock-on effect of the schools creating crisis in the retention and recruitment of teachers.
They also warn that there will be a deterioration in the outcomes for children and the quality of their education as a result of the tight budgets they have to deal with.
One school is forecasting that this year it will struggle with a six figure deficit despite losing seven teaching assistants and one teacher from its payroll.
‘We are investing £1.3 billion in additional school funding’
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “We are investing £1.3 billion in additional school funding which is over and above our existing plans and this will take funding in 2019-20 to £43.5 billion.”
He insisted that there are no cuts in school funding.
However, schools are facing rising costs including an increase in their National Insurance and pension contributions, higher pay for their support staff and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.
The headteachers from West Yorkshire also highlight in their letter to the government ministers that services that were previously provided by the local councils, for example behaviour support and education welfare services, are now virtually non-existent or schools have to pay from their own budgets.
In addition, schools are having to be more accountable with tougher targets for progress and attainment as well as exclusions and improved attendance figures.
The letter from the headteachers highlights that their call isn’t just about asking for more money and points out that: “There is a correlation between underperforming children and underfunded schools and these vulnerabilities are shared, we feel, with colleagues nationally.”