Last chance for parents in West Sussex to ‘protect our children’s education’ by completing funding survey

Worth Less? campaign logos
Worth Less? campaign logos

Parents of schoolchildren in West Sussex have been urged to complete a survey to help ‘protect our children’s education’ and invest in their future.

A consultation into the Government’s new National Funding Formula ends tomorrow (March 22) and people have until 5pm to complete a 12-page online questionnaire, which can be found here.

Headteachers across West Sussex sent letters to all parents last week calling on them to complete the survey, even including recommended responses following critism of the ‘ridiculously technical’ and ‘complex’ format.

John Gadd, head of Thomas a Becket Juniors in Worthing, said in his letter to parents: “You will know that our children’s educational future is being put at risk by the savage funding cuts that are being put forward by the Government and the Department for Education.

“In short, the new National Funding Formula (NFF) provides some increased money to some schools, but large numbers of schools also miss out. Crucially, however, even those schools that seem to get more under the NFF will find that their budgets go down in real terms because of hidden costs such as National Insurance and pension payments that every school has to pay.

“Your child will not be protected from these cuts.”

The letter says the result of the cuts could include reductions in staff numbers, increase in class sizes, inferior equipment and books, a potential for reduced school opening hours, more ‘voluntary’ contributions from parents.

Mr Gadd added: “It is vital for parents to understand that once the Department for Education makes their proposed decisions, they will be permanent. Our children’s educational provision will be severely compromised.

If we can act together then these dreadful cuts can be avoided. Please let’s work together in order to protect our children’s education and invest in our children’s future.”

Mr Gadd said school leaders from many counties had devised a guide to answering the survey so that ‘we all speak with one voice’.

You can find the guide by clicking here.

Caitriona Bull, head of West Park School, in Marlborough Road, Worthing, also urged parents to respond to the survey.

She said: “We are in very challenging times and I cannot foresee any improvement unless everyone who can respond, does respond to express their views to Government. Your voice is important, will be listened to and will influence the final outcome for our school. Please use it by completing the consultation.”

Schools in West Sussex have been campaigning for fairer funding under the Worth Less campaign and have warned the Government budgets are at ‘breaking point’.