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***(UK) Schools feeling crunch ask parents for money; SPED costs affecting all

June 30, 2019, Chesire Live: Middlewich High School asks parents for £30 donations to help with funding https://www.cheshire-live.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/middlewich-high-school-asks-parents-16498459 Families are being asked if they can donate £30 [$38 U.S.] to Middlewich High School to go towards resources, activities and opportunities for pupils. Heidi Thurland, the school’s new headteacher, says balancing a lack of funding with the school’s broad curriculum is ‘one of the biggest challenges’ she faces…. And the school wants to forge closer ties with the community by working with local businesses who might have IT resources they no longer need, and by forming a PTA to help raise school funds. … “Nationally there are schools who are consulting on running a four-day week as they simply cannot afford to run the school, there are examples of multi-academy trusts across the country which are in serious financial trouble. “Middlewich High School is not in this position, however we need to be pragmatic, creative and resourceful to ensure that the budget is managed effectively. Many schools have taken similar steps in setting up a school fund and requesting contributions from families.”… Chancellor Philip Hammond announced an extra £400 million[$507M U.S.] for schools to spend on ‘little extras’ in last autumn’s budget. But the move was criticised by headteachers and unions - and in February, Esther McVey, Tatton’s Conservative MP, hit out at just a 2% funding increase for schools between 2016 and 2020 while costs had risen by 8% over the same period. According to the Association of School and College Leaders, there is a £5 billion [$6.3B U.S.] funding gap between the cost of running schools and the funding provided. Middlewich High School is currently taking part in a CEC consultation on funding for pupils who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)…. more funding for schools. She said: “They have been left very short at Middlewich High School - probably because it has quite a lot of SEND pupils and it is there that the shortfall in funding hits hardest. … “The only solution is more money from Government. Schools have done remarkably well with what they have, CEC has tried hard, but there has to be more money.”…