Please see the below statement from the Headteacher of Lord Williams’s School, David Wybron.
“Last Friday, I again supported the ‘Worth Less?’ Campaign and along with thousands of other Headteachers, sent a letter to parents/carers explaining why school funding is in such a dire state. The government, as it has done on countless occasions over the last 18 months, claimed that the government spending on schools was at record levels. This is a completely meaningless statistic because student numbers have risen considerably over this period as have staffing costs. The only data that really should matter is spending per individual student. I have also written to our local MP John Howell and simply asked him to answer three questions. Hopefully, he now has the answers from the House of Commons Library research team. They are:
- Will you confirm to your constituents that per pupil funding has fallen by 8% in real terms since 2010? (Institute of Fiscal Studies Annual Report September 2018)
- Will you confirm that increasing staffing costs are set to cripple schools (the government is planning to increase the employers’ contribution for teacher pensions in September 2019 from 16.48% to 23.68% and this is unfunded from 2020-21. If it remains unfunded it will add around £336,000 to our staffing costs).
- Will you agree to campaign to reverse the above decision on schools’ teacher pensions contributions?
These matters are so important for our young people. We are currently paying for all services which were hitherto provided by the Local Authority and the money we were entitled to, to cover these costs as an academy, has now been removed completely. This is on top of considerable cuts to our Sixth Form funding because the Schools’ Budget does not include Sixth Form funding. I raise this again, because it is conveniently forgotten whilst other spurious things are said by government spokespeople, such as including the money being spent by students and their families on university tuition and counting this as part of the government’s investment in education!
I am almost more cross about the dishonesty in all this and would appeal for the government to speak with integrity on these matters even if it is to say, ‘We are in tough times, be creative with less resources’. To pretend this is not the real situation is and remains scandalous.”