‘A budget crisis is imminent’: Norfolk headteachers send alarming letter to parents about school spending

Parents are being warned of a funding crisis in classrooms. Picture: PA Wire

Parents are being warned of a funding crisis in classrooms. Picture: PA Wire - Credit: PA

'Decisions on school spending will no longer be driven by what is best for our children but rather what we can afford'.

A letter about school funding, sent to Norfolk parents. Picture: Submitted

A letter about school funding, sent to Norfolk parents. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

That is the stark news that tens of thousands of Norfolk parents will read today amid warnings of a looming budget crisis.

Many will receive a letter from their child's school, written by Norfolk Primary Headteachers' Association and the Norfolk Secondary Education Leaders and signed by the head.

It says: 'We are writing to you today because we are gravely concerned about the impact of the new funding formula on our school, and the general welfare of our children, young people and families.

It adds: 'A budget crisis is imminent.'

The letter signs off by saying: 'An education system must support and inspire its pupils and offer every child and young person the opportunity to learn and be the best they can be, but this system needs greater investment.'

At the same time Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have joined forces with 11 other counties to flag up their fears and put pressure on MPs and ministers to rethink school finance plans.

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The campaign says a new national funding formula, which should give underfunded schools more cash, ignores inflationary cost pressures faced by all schools. And they are angry at the government spending 'precious financial resources' on free schools and grammar schools.

The counties have written a letter for schools to give to their local MP - in the hope that they will put pressure on the government.

The letter says the new funding formula does not offer 'meaningful solutions' to current and future school finances and 'attempts to ignore inflationary cost pressures that all schools are enduring'.

'School leaders simply want a reasonable settlement that sees every child in every school adequately funded,' it says.

The Department for Education said school spending was at record levels, but that the system for distributing that money was 'unfair, opaque and outdated'.

A DfE spokeswoman said: 'We are going to end the historic postcode lottery in school funding and, under the proposed national schools funding formula, more than half of England's schools will receive a cash boost.'

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