Boswells School: Fund the 8%

There is something of a "secondary head teachers' spring" going on in Essex.

This is a respectable and polite uprising, but it is giving MPs some very difficult homework over how schools in England are funded against the Headteachers’ campaign slogan “Fund the 8%”.

Essex Secondary Headteachers, along with colleagues in Cornwall, East Sussex and West Sussex, are applying pressure - not through unions or strike threats- but by well co-ordinated and relentlessly reasonable demands.

They have, once again, written to every Essex MP today outlining their genuine concern that regardless of Government rhetoric about the National Funding Formula and extra funding, the reality is that schools are underfunded by 8%. Even if the NFF is introduced in 2018, Essex schools (as a whole) will still be in the bottom third of the funding levels of all the Local Authorities in England.

This is an unprecedented show of unity by Secondary Headteachers. Leading schools from across the spectrum including community, faith, foundation, grammar and academy schools are now stating they are not going to put up with the unnecessary confusion and disruption being caused.

Headteachers in Essex are having to take draconian action in the face of this "dire financial situation";. If you talk to Headteachers, you will hear a deafening chorus of what they are most worried about - a shortage of funding and teachers.

Schools are subject to the political whims of the Government in power. When the Government wants to push forward its ideology such as academisation, opening free schools that do not meet basic need, selection, pressing ahead with the failing UTC programme, it finds millions if not billions of pounds to fund these pet projects often with no firm research base.

From the start of the year the pressure on the government has been mounting and shows no signs of relenting; if anything Headteachers voices are becoming more vocal and vociferous, but always respectful.

On 1 February 2017, Sean Coughlan, Education correspondent, posted his article on the BBC website reporting the crippling financial difficulties faced by the governments flagship academies

The Schools Minister Nick Gibb is hoping to weather the storm and is seemingly oblivious to the fast approaching funding tsunami.

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