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‘I feel utterly desperate... It has reduced me to tears’ - Norfolk headteacher’s moving account of funding cuts

PUBLISHED: 11:28 29 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:09 30 May 2017

Teachers have warned budget cuts are having an impact on the classroom. Picture: David Davies/PA

Teachers have warned budget cuts are having an impact on the classroom. Picture: David Davies/PA

One Norfolk headteacher has shared their moving account of how the funding crisis is hitting their school.

The headteacher spoke out anonymously after we launched a survey speaking to 75 school leaders about their funding worries.

We revealed that 31pc are having to reduce support for vulnerable children, 44pc are reducing the numbers of, or hours of, teaching assistants and 59pc are halting investment in equipment and buildings.

Here, we have run their response:

“I’d like to point out that although we had a small surplus budget to carry over into this year, it is this which has cushioned us this year as we make the transition to more drastic cuts.

“By next budget setting in March 2018, it is all used up and we will be faced with making even more reductions in staff hours or whole jobs, and will be cutting out services like our school pastoral support completely.

“The pastoral support has been such a well-used and valuable service and it has made a huge difference to many troubled children and families here when other services such as Point One or CAMHS could not help due to their limited capacity.

“The Friends of the school pay for all transport for educational visits through fundraising already and parents and carers meet the rest of the costs. It’s been a long time since school could fund these ourselves.

“Our wonderful, dedicated team work incredibly hard and care deeply about these children and want the best for them. We have worked together to give our children a great education and have built up a hard-earned and well-deserved reputation for ourselves.

“Now we feel this is all threatened and I am working hard to protect staff morale and well-being as well as trying to reassure parents that we will make every effort to continue providing the same high level of service for their children in the future.

“I feel utterly desperate about this situation.

“It has reduced me to tears several times and although I believe I am a strong and a positive leader I feel really afraid of what is coming.

“It feels like everything I value and have worked so hard to achieve here is at risk and that’s incredibly difficult to bear.

“It’s always on my mind and it wakes me at night. I know that if the funding formula doesn’t go through, we are going to really struggle and have to make more changes. I also know that if it does proceed, it’s going to be catastrophic.”

MORE: ‘I am buying resources with my own money’ - heads reveal extent of funding crisis in our survey

Have you been affected by the funding crisis? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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