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Call for increased funding for West Midlands:  schools sign our letter to the chancellor

School leaders from the West Midlands have come together to write a letter to the Chancellor explaining how the current school funding crisis is impacting on their schools.

They are calling on all school leaders and governors in the region to come together and add their name to the letter, to show the Chancellor the strength of feeling in the region. 

If you would like to add your name to the letter, please fill in the form below:

Dear Chancellor,

Please take action - we are on our KNEES!

We write to you on behalf of the head teachers of 2079 West Midlands schools serving 805,874 children and young people and we implore you to use the next spending review to deliver the investment that schools desperately need for the future of our children.

We remind the Chancellor that our schools in the West Midlands have lost £141,936,221 from their budgets whilst pupil numbers have risen by almost 50,000 in just 3 years. The schools that we lead are some of the highest quality institutions in our education system, serving some of the most disadvantaged and diverse communities in the country.

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. Nationwide, 5,400 teachers, 2,800 teaching assistants, 1,400 support staff and 1,200 auxiliary staff have been lost. Vital posts that schools need to support children.

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.

In the West Midlands 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.

There is no money for books, there is no money for pencils, there is no money for toilet rolls, there is no money for heating, there is no money for broadband, there is no money for the essentials!

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 the West Midlands but in every constituency in the country. These irrefutable facts are enclosed in the House of Commons library statistics attached.

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.

Please take action now to address the school funding crisis.

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First published 26 February 2019