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(UK) London: Schools at "funding crisis point" despite $9.7B increase from UK DofE

Oct 7, 2021, Evening Standard: London schools are at funding crisis point, say head teachers

London schools are being hit by a funding crisis with more than a quarter of headteachers having to make cuts to balance their budgets, they have warned. A poll of London schools found 28 per cent have made cuts this year and 35 per cent expect they will be forced to do the same next year. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), which carried out the research, said the crisis is a result of 10 years of underfunding. Funding for children with special educational needs has been particularly badly impacted by under-investment, schools said. It comes after schools were hit by extra costs from the pandemic. Paul Whiteman, of the NAHT, said: “The Government’s failure to invest in schools over the past decade is forcing school leaders to cut back on staff, support for pupils and activities.” Barry Read, headteacher at RJ Mitchell Primary School in Romford, told the Standard: “We are at crisis point. It is heartbreaking to always be talking about budgets when someone comes to you asking for a new set of picture books.”… Headteachers in London were questioned by the NAHT for its funding survey, which also revealed nearly one-third of school leaders predict a deficit budget in 2021-22. Almost all (95 per cent) of headteachers said funding for pupils with special educational needs in their school is insufficient. And 79 per cent said they do not have sufficient capital funding to maintain their existing buildings and facilities. Mr Whiteman added: “The Government needs to increase funding so that schools are able to properly meet the needs of all their pupils.” The Department for Education said: “This Government is providing the biggest uplift to school funding in a decade — £14 billion in total over the three years. This is a £7.1 billion [$9.7B] increase in funding for schools compared to 2019-20.”


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