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School funding crisis: Teachers in Cornwall double up as caretakers

School funding crisis: Teachers in Cornwall double up as caretakers

Published by Emma Carton at 7:44am 10th May 2019. (Updated at 8:18am 10th May 2019)

Cornish teachers are coming together over what they call a funding crisis for our schools.

They claim the Duchy have lost out by more than £51 million between 2015 and 2019.

This is the money that comes from government and works out to over £301 per pupil.

'Some schools are so cash-strapped, teachers are doubling up as caretakers'.

Helen Collinge, headteacher at Treleigh Primary School in Redruth, says recent discussions are worrying.

"There was no talk of children or learning or standards or even the curriculum - it was all about how we're very close to being unable to meet the needs of our children and how none of us are going to be able to set a budget next year.

"One of the heads in the group can't even afford a caretaker and so he has to take up that role himself".

Helen Collinge

You can check the latest school funding figures here or watch Helen's full interview...

The National Association of Head Teachers, NAHT, says 250 out of Cornwall's 263 schools will face cuts - 85%

Staff and parents from across the south-west are meeting in Newquay on Friday for the Cornwall Education Summit.

They warn some schools are so cash-strapped, teachers are having to double up as caretakers.

It is a similar picture nationwide, with schools from across the UK demanding fairer funding.

"The job of a headteacher is becoming impossible. It's so frustrating not being able to meet the needs of children with SEND or those with mental health issues.

"The impact on already extremely tight budgets means we can barely afford the basics.

"Many, many schools already know that they will be unable to set a budget next year. This cannot be allowed to continue".

Julie Simpson, NAHT

"School budgets across Cornwall are at breaking-point. Government cuts have been unrelenting in the last few years and school leaders are saying that enough is enough.

"Class sizes are rising, vital support for children with special needs being taken away and fewer subjects and opportunities are on offer, as schools take drastic measures to make the books balance.

"It's very clear that only new money from the Treasury will solve the school funding crisis".

Rob Kelsall, NAHT

The Cornwall Education Summit 2019 takes place on Friday 10th May, 1:00-3.00pm in the Sands Resort Hotel, Newquay.

MP Steve Double, Interim Service Director for Education Tim Osborne and Rob Kelsall, NAHT National Secretary, will address the summit.

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