Schools are 'creaking at the seams' and need more money, warns headteacher

Principal of Minsthorpe Community College Ray Henshaw.
Principal of Minsthorpe Community College Ray Henshaw.

A headteacher has said pressure must continue to be put on politicians to reassess funding before schools “fall over the cliff edge”.

Ray Henshaw, principal of Minsthorpe Community College, said schools up and down the country were facing a financial crux and were "creaking at the seams".

Mr Henshaw said: “The question has to be will the government let schools go broke before tackling the funding crisis?”

He was speaking as reports emerged in The Guardian last week of more schools across the country looking at cutting back on teaching hours to try and save cash.

It comes less than a month after Mr Henshaw told The Express schools nationwide could drop to three-day weeks.

The principal was among Wakefield school leaders who, in June, penned a letter to parents warning financial cutbacks could lead to fewer teachers, increased class sizes, less curriculum choice, less investment in facilities and resources and a reduction in support of children with mental health problems and special educational needs.

The headteachers argued against government claims that funding for schools is at its highest level, stating that costs had increased while funding per pupil had stood still.

The government is planning to introduce a new national funding formula, which it said will make sure cash is distributed more equally and fairly between schools.

But speaking to The Express today, Mr Henshaw said: “This story is not going away- what I predicted is starting to happen more and more.

“Early closing will only delay the inevitable and fair funding - if it happens - will just see a redistribution of already insufficient funding and not stop some schools falling over the cliff edge.

“The pressure on our politicians needs to be maintained.”

He said the funding formula would lead to some schools being better off and others losing cash.

But he added: "The bottom line is there is still not going to be enough money per pupil."

Mr Henshaw stressed Minsthorpe was "fine" after preparing financially.

But he said: "It will hit us eventually as it will hit all schools."

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