Sheffield headteachers petition Downing Street to demand extra school funding

Headteachers from Sheffield have descended on Downing Street to demand more money for schools.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 13:56 pm
Updated Saturday, 29th September 2018, 06:49 am
Headteachers from across England and Wales hold signs in Parliament Square, London, as they prepare to march on Downing Street to demand extra cash for schools. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

They have joined 1,000 headteachers from around the country for the rally outside Parliament before they delivered a petition to Downing Street calling on the Government to fairer fund schools

It comes amid a growing funding crisis in Sheffield which could see staff losing their jobs, class sizes increased and a schools cutting down to four-and-a-half weeks.

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The Government's new national funding formula, aimed at redistributing funding to historically underfunded areas, helps the situation a little and will lead to an overall increase in funding for Sheffield by 2020/21.

But headteachers are sturggling to balance their budgets over the next few years.

More than 8,000 have signed an online petiton The Star and Sheffield Telegraph calling on the Government to redress the funding situation.

Headteachers from across England and Wales hold signs in Parliament Square, London, as they prepare to march on Downing Street to demand extra cash for schools. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

The headteachers on the march quote the Institute of Fiscal Studies' claim that per pupil funding has fallen eight per cent in real terms since 2010.

The government says school funds will rise to a record £43.5bn by 2020.

Cathy Rowland, headteacher of Dobcroft Infant School, in Millhouses, is on the march.

Headteachers from across England and Wales march towards Downing Street in London to demand extra cash for schools. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

She said: 'With austerity, we all realise we have to make changes.

'But the reality is much worse. What we are left with is very unpalatable resources.'

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said: 'Headteachers are not normally the marching kind.

Headteachers stand outside Number 10 Downing Street, London, as they deliver a letter to the Chancellor to demand extra cash for schools. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

'So, when they do, it must be serious. They're sick of being told that there's more money in education than ever before, when what they see with their own eyes every day proves that it's just not enough.

'More and more now, children succeed despite the system, not because of it. And that can't be right.'

The Department of Education has disputed the budgetary drop, stating that the spending on schooling is the highest its ever been, with funding rising to a record £43.5bn by 2020 '“ 50 per cent more in real terms per pupil than in 2000.

To sign the online petition visit www.change.org/p/fair-fund-for-sheffield-schools