Over 1,000 Headteachers Set to March on Westminster
October 5, 2018
On Friday 28 September over 1,000 headteachers from all over the country marched to Westminster to deliver a letter to Phillip Hammond, the chancellor, calling for increased funding and outlining how seven years of budget cuts have resulted in financial crisis for a lot of schools.
The march has been organised by the WorthLess? Campaign launched by Jules White, who has accused the DfE of being in denial about the financial pressures faced by schools. White said: “the DfE appear to be in complete denial as to what we are all facing on the ground. There’s no need for heads to exaggerate the problem but what we do need is meaningful support and not the same tired old mantra about ‘record levels of school spending’”.
Earlier this year it was reported that “90% of heads had to use cash for disadvantaged pupils to prop up budgets” in spite of changes to the funding formula. Just one in five respondents to the annual school governance survey by National Governance Association and Tes said they were confident that they can manage budget constraints without compromising the quality of education. Only half of respondents said that that they are balancing income and expenditure with almost a third drawing on reserves. 75% of those drawing on reserves said these would be exhausted within two years.
The Department for Education (DfE) argue that more money is going into schools than ever before. However, a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies revealed that “between 2009-10 and 2017-18, total school spending per pupil in England fell by about 8% in real terms”.