Headteachers in Brighton and Hove have sent a letter to the education secretary to voice their disappointment at the lack of funding their schools are receiving.
Forty-four headteachers signed a letter addressed to Gillian Keegan, the Secretary of State for Education. The letter warned that students could suffer and called the current state of funding “diabolical”.
The headteachers said that many schools in the city were ending the year with a budget deficit due to unfunded pay awards for staff, increased charges, and the cost of covering Covid-related staff absences. The joint letter also noted that schools have already made difficult cuts to services, including reducing staff, cutting curriculum costs, and postponing building expenditures.
The letter stated, “The dedicated professionals in Brighton and Hove work tirelessly to provide the best possible provision for their pupils, but they will not be able to give children what they need unless the government takes immediate action to make schools financially viable.”
A headteacher of more than 15 years said: “Everything we have built up and developed to support pupils over the years is being destroyed due to the cuts we have no option than to make”, adding that it was “the worst financial crisis to date.”
Another headteacher said: “We have nothing left to cut.”
In response, the Department for Education (DfE) announced that the government will be investing an additional £2 billion in the next two years. This extra financial support will bring total spending to its highest level ever in real terms, reaching £58.8 billion by 2024-25. The DfE also mentioned that schools would be free to decide how the money is used.
However, headteachers remain concerned and have demanded that the government urgently review their funding model and send support to secure the schools.