SCHOOL FUNDING CRISIS: Sheffield headteacher considers cutting school week to four-and-a-half days

Sheffield schools are facing a funding crisis
Sheffield schools are facing a funding crisis
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A Sheffield headteacher is considering cutting the school week to four-and-a-half days to cope with the funding crisis.

The primary headteacher said reducing the school week was one of the options he was considering along with redundancies as he tries to save tens of thousands of pounds from his budget.

He has spoken out after it emerged that Sheffield schools are the worst funded out of all the major cities in England and the Government's new national funding formula, aimed at correcting historic disparities in the funding system, does little to alleviate the situation.

READ MORE: SCHOOL FUNDING CRISIS: Sheffield MP raises plight of city's cash strapped schools in Parliament

The Department for Education said that schools in the area will attract an increase in funding of 6.6 per cent – equivalent to £20.4 million – when the NFF is implemented in full by 2020/21, but the headteacher said this doesn't take into account rising costs.

The headteacher said: "I am going to have to do something radical to save money.

"The first option I am looking at is redundancies.

"This would involved losing key staff because of the amount of money we have to save.

READ MORE: SCHOOL FUNDING CRISIS: Headteachers warn of 'dire situation' facing cash strapped schools in Sheffield

"These redundancies will be significant and have an impact on how we can deliver things at school.

"The other option I am looking at is cutting the week to four-and-a-half days.

"This would potentially stop the redundancies and keep the same level of support and the same service, but it would see full-time staff having their contracts cut."

The headteacher said with the amount of money he has to save, redundancies would see the staffing level cut so much that the school would not be able to offer the same level of service and extra pressure would be put on already hardworking staff.

READ MORE: REVEALED: Sheffield schools are among the worst funded in England

He said morally he would be unsure if he could stay in his position as headteacher.

He added: "Whenever you get into redundancies of this amount that it impacts morally.

"I don't know if I can carry on doing my job if I know it's not feasible for the school to operate at the same level.

"I have to make a moral decision - do I stay or do I walk away?

"If I walk away then what happens to the school, because it will continue but not at the same level."

The Star has launched a campaign calling for fairer funding for city schools and has the backing of politicians and headteachers.