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A Letter from the Headteacher Regarding Budget Cuts

5th June 2019

Dear Parents/Carers,

School budget cuts threaten Barnet schools. We need your help.

The headteachers of the nursery, primary, secondary and special schools in Barnet are committed to providing a world class education for your children. We have powerful and effective partnerships and work together to secure high quality provision across all our schools.

In November 2018 school leaders across Barnet raised their concerns about the level of school funding, and the threat this poses to us in securing the high quality provision your children deserve. Unfortunately, the situation has not improved, and we now have significant fears for the future. 

 Behind the scenes school leaders and governors have written letters to and met with local and national politicians to make the case for increased funding. Whilst we hear claims about budgets being protected in reality we are all facing cuts. Research from the social mobility charity The Sutton Trust shows that schools have lost out on funding of £5.4 billion since 2015 and that 91% of schools have had their funding cut. Additionally, independent research shows that secondary schools should be receiving £6,200 per pupil (primary school £5,700) in order to provide a good education, (not even a strong or great education). Barnet secondary schools receive an average of £4,800 per pupil. Furthermore, 70 school sixth forms have shut across the country since 2015 as a result of funding pressures and this decline is set to increase.

Barnet has a great reputation for high quality education. But this is now at risk.

 To balance our budgets we are facing impossible decisions weighing up the costs of staff, teaching resources, sports, arts and support for our most vulnerable children. Where should we cut?

A government Spending Review is due to be completed before the summer recess of Parliament. The results are likely to be announced in the autumn budget.

Will you help us let them know how important educating your children is?

In Barnet Schools, 73 teachers and 147 other staff have left and are not being replaced. In addition nearly 100 teaching and non teaching staff have been made redundant.  At East Barnet School we pride ourselves on offering a broad and balanced curriculum, exceptional extra curricular activities and a nurturing environment.  All of this is becoming increasingly more difficult to maintain. Many schools have cut their pastoral care, Arts, Music, Sport, Foreign Languages and Design and Technology departments. This is ludicrous particularly as not only do the students need and enjoy these subjects, these skills are necessary for a world in which we will need engineers, entrepreneurs and inventors.

As your child’s Headteacher, I hope that you will be able to support the endeavours of our community in raising awareness of these very real concerns. I would ask that you write to your MP, to express your concerns surrounding school funding. We are determined that quality, inclusive provision should be protected but we feel that this message now needs to be heard from parents to add pressure at this crucial time.

The contact details for the local MPs are:

Mike Freer, MP. House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Theresa Villiers, MP. House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Dr Matthew Offord, MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Please do take this opportunity to raise awareness of the seriousness of this issue and support our school as move into the future. Please do let me know if you have contacted them so that we can collate the impact of this request across the borough. Additionally, it would be useful if you let me know what response you receive.

It is not easy, as your child’s Headteacher, to raise concerns about funding in this way. However, I hope that you can see why it is essential that we stand up and take action on these issues to protect your child’s education.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Yours Sincerely,

Ms L Swaine

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