Headteachers Weekly Update – 10th March 2017

I hope that you received a letter on Tuesday regarding the future of school funding. If it didn’t make its way home a copy is in the news section of our school website and available on our Facebook page.

I am sure that you have heard in the media about the funding issues that are facing schools. I wanted to explain the situation with funding and how it will impact on King Offa.

The government is currently consulting on a new funding formula for schools that it says is aiming to correct the inequalities in funding that are currently in place. The current system of funding means that the amount a school receives per pupil, per year can vary greatly depending on where the school is in the country. Attempting to correct the unfairness in the system is admirable however the proposed new funding formula means that the vast majority of schools in England will face a real terms cut in the amount of funding they receive. Based on the funding consultation calculations King Offa will receive less real terms funding over the next four years if the government goes ahead with the current proposals.

This is obviously an emotive issue and there is lots in the press about schools being forced to cut staff, shorten days and deliver a narrower curriculum. The good news for King Offa is that I am confident that we will be able to continue to deliver a good standard of education without having to take such drastic cost saving steps. This is largely because the school is popular and continues to grow in size. This means that the additional pupils we take in and the funding that is attached to them will help offset some of the reduction in our budget. However it is frustrating to know that in the future we will have to do more with less if the proposed levels of funding are introduced. Our ability to continue to improve the school will be hampered and there will be support and opportunities that we would like to offer to the pupils that we will be unable to achieve.

One of the most important jobs I have as Headteacher is to ensure that we gain the maximum value from every pound spent in school. I am ably supported in this role by our Business Manager Mrs Harrison and we receive excellent support from Aurora Academies Trust. We are already running the school in a very financially prudent way and we prioritise spending carefully to ensure that it has the maximum impact on pupils learning. It is hard to see how we can make many more efficiencies without it having an impact on the pupils and staff.

I have met with and written to our local MP, Huw Merriman. I believe that he understands well the issues facing our local schools and am grateful for the time he has given looking into the funding problem. It is however really important that he hears from his constituent’s first-hand the concerns that all of us should have about the future of school funding. Please find the time to contact him and share the issues that I have raised here. The letter you received on Tuesday sets out how you can go about this and the links below provide more useful information about the funding issues schools are facing.

Please be assured that we will not falter from our key aim of providing the very best education possible. We will however be much more likely to achieve our aims if schools receive the appropriate level of funding.

The East Sussex campaign for fairer funding can be reached here,

https://www.facebook.com/Flat-Cash-Ed-1755379894777407/

The School Cuts website provides more information about proposed real term spending in schools

http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk

Thank you for your support,

James Freeston

Headteacher