A group of headteachers from Lewisham have written an open letter to Theresa May warning of the damage being caused to the education of children in schools by the reduction of funding.
Lewisham Leadership Forum, comprising of over 70 heads, have requested that the Prime Minister meet them and see for herself the damage of austerity on classrooms.
The headteachers warn of real cuts of up to 8% on their under-pressure budgets, saying: “For all of our schools this level of cuts is untenable and will impact directly on the quality of education delivered to our young people.
“Whilst in all schools we will do our best to meet our statutory duties, the quality of this provision, and our ability to meet the individual needs of different groups will be severely compromised.”
Non-core curriculum lessons, such as music, drama, science and technology clubs, sports teams and school trips all face the axe, along with classroom assistants who face losing jobs.
“The pastoral care and wellbeing of students is being threatened by the cuts that have already taken hold and will be worsened by the imposition of the new funding formula. At a time when the mental health of young people is being highlighted we are seeing counselling provision, mentoring and general support being reduced across our schools,” the letter says.
“In a borough that works hard to keep young people safe, in often challenging circumstances, we are concerned that these cuts will jeopardise the safety of the most vulnerable.”
The Tory manifesto outlines a plan for schools to have an additional £4billion in the school budget by 2022, but experts fear that this amount doesn’t cover rising inflation and increasing pupil numbers throughout schools.
“Even if per pupil funding levels for primary and secondary schools are frozen at current rates, anticipated inflationary pressures over the next three years mean an 8% real terms cut in schools spending power which will impact on our classrooms,” the letter concludes.