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Today (Friday 4 May 2018) Blackpool head teacher Andy Mellor appealed to education secretary Damian Hinds for “some light at the end of the tunnel” for the school funding crisis.
In his inaugural speech as national president at NAHT’s annual conference in Liverpool, Andy talked about the heartbreak of having to start disassembling the team that took his primary school from 'requires improvement' to 'outstanding'. He conveyed his sadness that school cuts meant he couldn’t pay everyone any more and that some of them “may well be lost to the profession forever.”
He lamented that "funding always limits all our ambitions". He acknowledged that it does cost a lot of money to run our schools, and so it should because the value of what we do is “priceless.”
Andy’s attention then turned to the apprenticeship levy; he called for schools to be exempt from the “unfair burden” that sees them pay in, but get nothing out of the system. At a time when schools’ budgets are at breaking point, the levy is “costly,” he added.
He expressed that schools have a duty to offer many different opportunities to pupils beside English and maths. He shared a touching story of a former male pupil with a passion for dance and how it remains important that we break down the gender stereotypes and expectations that limit our children. “The minute you go down that route, you shut down a whole host of opportunities for children,” he added.
Andy finished by thanking delegates for placing their faith in him as NAHT president and said the perfect scenario for him would be to work alongside the government “to resolve the issues that are plaguing our profession.” Andy takes the reins from Anne Lyons as NAHT president. Read his full speech here.
First published 08 May 2018