Warning over plans to cut school funding
Proposed funding cuts will put ‘huge pressure’ on school budgets and make it ‘difficult’ to maintain levels of education, a headteacher has claimed.
Reverand Sue Joyner, of Harbottle C of E First School, has spoken out after some schools across the county stand to lose thousands of pounds – in some cases, more than £100,000.
The indicative figures form part of a consultation document by Northumberland County Council in the wake of central Government’s plans to reform the school revenue system for 2013-14.
But it makes grim reading for some.
Wooler’s Glendale Middle School, which could lose more than £112,000, and Rothbury’s Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School, which faces a loss of nearly £72,000, are among some of the biggest hit in the county.
And Rev Joyner, whose school faces a chop of more than £11,500, admitted she is ‘very concerned’.
She said: “The figures I have seen show that the suggested change to funding will put huge pressure on our budget, which is already very tight.
“Harbottle School provides an ‘outstanding’ education (Ofsted Judgement) and this will be difficult to maintain in the face of these proposals.
“It is important that those involved in decision-making look carefully at the potentially devastating effect these cuts would have on the education of children in our rural county and the wider rural community.”
Rothbury campaigner Brian Hesler, who is governor at the school, has called for a ‘rural pupil premium’ to safeguard local education in rural areas.
Mr Hesler said: “The new funding rules will make it much harder to maintain small rural schools like Harbottle.
“Our local villages have lost post offices, shops and other amenities in recent years.
“If we stop educating our children locally it will be the final nail in the coffin of our rural way of life.
“Our local council must adopt a rural pupil premium that protects local education in our villages.”
The indicative figures show that budgets will increase at some schools.
A county council spokeswoman said the formal consultation closed last Friday and the authority will prepare a report for the schools’ forum on September 27.
The authority said it will work with schools who lose ‘significant amounts’.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Northumberland
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North