Head teachers across Salford are urging parents to back a new campaign for fairer funding for schools.
They have written to all parents condemning the government’s current funding for schools and showing their support for the head teachers’ national Worth Less? campaign.
City Mayor Paul Dennett and Deputy City Mayor Councillor John Merry, who oversees the children and young people portfolio, are backing the move.
In the strongly worded letter the Salford heads say school budgets for under 16s have been cut by eight per cent since 2010 and class sizes are rising which makes it harder to maintain the range of sports and experiences currently offered.
They also say that schools are struggling to maintain support for children’s emotional well-being and to support the most vulnerable children and young people in schools.
Mayor Dennett said: “We’ve seen national protests by head teachers about inadequate funding for schools and from parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities who feel their children are not getting the support they need.
“Head teachers nationally asked three times for a meeting with the Secretary of State for Education. The last time they asked, in January, the response was that the minister was too busy though, given the level of anger we are seeing nationally, he has now made time to see them.
“Unfortunately that has not resulted in any changes to school funding and that is just not good enough. I fully support the head teachers who launched the Worth Less? campaign which is now supported by 64 local authorities, thousands of schools and millions of families nationwide. I’d like to see every parent in Salford write to the government to demand fairer funding for schools.
Councillor Merry added: “We stress the importance of life-long education to children and young people yet the schools and colleges they are being taught in are scraping round for every penny and what they can provide is being eroded by funding cuts.
“We tell our children and young people they are the future of this country and yet the government is not willing to invest properly in funding their education and the support they need. It’s disgraceful and a national scandal and we need to make our voices heard to get schools the funding they need.”
Head teacher Daniel Gauld of River View primary school, Salford, said: “The last six years have seen continuous increasing pressure on school budgets. Austerity across local authority services has added to that pressure. Rising costs have meant that schools have to deliver much more with the same funding. This amounts to real cuts that ultimately have an impact on children’s education.
“Put simply – there is not enough money to deliver core services to an increasing school population made up of increasingly complex children – this is unsustainable and in the long term will have an impact on society.”