NAHT Cymru continue to call for sufficient, equitable and transparent school funding in Wales. Welsh Government and the 22 Local Authorities have an opportunity to address some of the issues and we will continue our campaign in Wales to improve matters. However, the level of funding allocated by the UK Treasury and sent into Wales via the Barnett Formula is simply not enough.
School leaders from the Wales have come together to write a letter to the Chancellor explaining how the current school funding crisis is impacting on their schools.
We are calling on all head teachers and chairs of governors in the 22 local authorities in Wales to add their name to the letter, to show the Chancellor the strength of feeling across the nation.
Please share with head teacher colleagues and chairs of governors – this letter is not just for NAHT members.
We write to you on behalf of the head teachers of 1,521 schools in Wales serving 467,112 children and young people and we implore you to use the next spending review to deliver the investment that schools in Wales desperately need for the future of our children.
We remind the Chancellor that between 2010-11 and 2018-19, gross budgeted expenditure on schools in Wales may have risen by 4.4% (£108 million) in cash terms. But this actually equates to a 7.9% decrease in real terms.
(At 2017-18 prices, using HM Treasury GDP deflators, June 2018.)
The schools that we lead achieve outstanding results despite serving some of the most disadvantaged and diverse communities in the UK.
School funding is broken. Head teachers have been forced to make draconian cuts to their budgets which are now impacting on school standards and pupil and staff wellbeing. Having already made efficiencies in terms of curriculum resources, facilities, premises and ICT as well as many other areas, schools are now in the difficult position where impossible choices are being made and vital staff are being cut. The most recent census figures tell us that the total number of pupils in maintained schools was 467,112, an increase of around 2,000 pupils since January 2014. However, the number of qualified teachers was 26,129 – the lowest number
In addition to this, schools have been forced into becoming the fourth emergency service. The stringent cuts imposed on other public services as a result of austerity have meant that schools have had to fill the gap for vulnerable children previously provided by Health, Social Care, the Police and other vital services that support children and families. In turn this has had a further detrimental impact on school budgets.
Wales’ schools are looking at drastic solutions to balance budgets including implementation of a four and a half day week. This desperate action has been a last resort for heads who are acutely aware of the impact this has on their local communities but are simply left with no other alternative.
We are sure you will agree that it cannot be right for a world class education system to be asking parents to prop up school budgets by providing basic equipment in order to maintain standards of education in the country.
As you are aware school funding cuts are not only affecting schools in Wales but in every constituency across the UK.
Head teachers are faced with stressful financial decisions on a daily basis. One fifth of head teachers are quitting the role within the first three years in Primary schools and almost one third in Secondary schools.
Children only get one chance at an education so it is now time to take action and address the school funding crisis.