Schools can't afford to educate our children

Reporter:

Georgia Macey

Staff say they are being left with no other choice than to raise money themselves so schools around the county can afford to fund pupils’ education.

Cutbacks have left schools with little supplies for the classroom and without sports equipment for PE lessons and after-school clubs.

James Wedly, a teacher at Cockshutt Primary School, said: “A few parents and I ran the Wrexham 10k to raise enough money for the children’s learning.

“There have been severe cuts this year – our headteacher and two teaching assistants are leaving because the school had to make a number of redundancies.”

They ran the 10k to get sponsorship money and hoped to raise £400 for sports equipment, sports kits, new resources – such as guided reading books – and to help the costs of educational trips for pupils.

Graeme Currie, Labour candidate for North Shropshire at the general election, said: “This is a big local issue – there is a huge amount of dispute among parents.

“It is not fair on children and parents are very worried about what will happen in the future.

“With the new funding formula coming in, the average junior school is set to lose around three teachers and the bigger schools, like Lakelands, may lose up to eight teachers.”

Mr Currie described the new system as a ‘disgrace’.

He said: “Shropshire is a disgrace, too, with local government cutting 25 per cent of our libraries, social care and education.

“They are losing sight of the larger picture and ending local provision.

“The school cuts are not fair on children. Parents are very worried.”

Shropshire Council is still waiting for details from the Department for Education how the cutbacks will affect its budgets.

Councillor Nick Bardsley said: “Unfortunately the recent announcement by the secretary of state provides no information on a local authority basis – and try as we have, no-one here can work out what the implications are for Shropshire schools.

“It is rather frustrating.”

A statement by education secretary Justine Greening said the government was ‘firmly committed’ to introducing fairer funding for schools.

n If you want to help Mr Wedly and the parents with their fundraising, donations can be made through the school’s just giving page – www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cockshutt-primary-2

Email:

georgia.macey@nwn.co.uk

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