Sheffield headteacher warns of 'bleak' future for schools caused by changes in funding

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A headteacher has warned of further staff cuts due to a 'bleak' financial future' caused by funding changes

Headteacher of Dobcroft Infant School, Cathy Rowland, has written to parents warning them that the school faces a four per cent budget cut under the Government's new funding formula.

The school has already had to reduce the hours of a number of teaching assistants from September and she warned there may have to be further staff cuts which will 'inevitably impact' on children's education.

She has called on parents to lobby their local MPs and write to ministers against the plans.

Under the new Government plans many secondary schools will see their budgets increased, but more than 60 primary schools in the city are going to have their budgets cut.

Mrs Rowland said her school, in Millhouses, faces a four per cent cut in its budget by 2019-20, which will mean it has lost 13 per cent in funding between 2013-19.

She wrote: "We, like other schools across England, are facing a bleak financial future as a result of the revised national schools funding formula.

"School funding was reorganised by the Government in a bid to be fairer to schools which may have in the past missed out. However, the reality is a growing number of schools are now being penalised because of these changes, and this includes Dobcroft Infant school.

"We have been facing tough budget pressures for the last couple of years which we have prudently managed, but this has not been without sacrifices we would rather not have had to make.

"The new funding formula will leave us with even less money per pupil, which will make the budget pressures even more significant this year and in years to come. Where other schools may be able to boost their budget with other funding sources like pupil premium funding, we cannot. We are lucky to operate in an affluent area, but this means our children rarely qualify for such funding streams as a result."

She added: "The future is potentially a bleak choice between making significant reductions in staff or an untenable deficit. Our priority is to do the best we can for all your children, despite the pressures we are under. But unless something changes there is a real worry the high standards we pride ourselves on here in Dobcroft Infant school may be at risk.

"The reality is there is just not enough funding to be divided equally across all schools in England. There is a growing crisis in overall education funding, with schools being asked to find savings of £3bn. That is why I have joined other head teachers both locally and nationally, in voicing opposition to these changes through the government’s consultation over the funding formula."