School job cuts loom

Headlands School headteacher Sarah Bone. -- NBFP PA1450-9
Headlands School headteacher Sarah Bone. -- NBFP PA1450-9

A Bridlington headteacher has blamed inadequate funding for a fresh round of staff redundancies expected to take place later this year.

Headlands School, which received a ‘requires improvement’ Ofsted report in December 2015, is believed to be at risk of a considerable cut in non-teaching members of staff in the summer.

Headlands School NBFP PA1532-2b

Headlands School NBFP PA1532-2b

A spokesman for the East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “We are currently consulting with staff and trade unions in accordance with the schools’ redundancy procedure in respect of potential redundancies in August. We will not be in a position to confirm compulsory figures until the end of the academic year.”

However, the Free Press understands that Headlands School could lose up to 20 per cent of its core support to teaching staff including teaching assistants and technicians.

Headlands School headteacher Sarah Bone said: “All I can say is that we are currently one of 10 out of 11 local authority maintained secondary schools in the East Riding currently consulting with staff on potential redundancies as increases in employer national insurance contributions and PFI costs with no increase in per pupil funding has meant we, like many other secondary schools, have had to review our budget position for 2016 - 2017.”

Under the current system, the 10 best funded areas of England received an average grant of £6,297 per pupil this year, compared to an average of just £4,208 per pupil in the 10 most poorly funded areas.

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council is one of 37 local authorities that have joined the F40 group to call for a fairer system.

Councillor Julie Abraham, East Riding of Yorkshire Council portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said: “The current system is a nonsense and it is clear that the present inequitable system is dead in the water.

“Our schools are doing a 
superb job but with more funding so much more might be possible.”

Member of Parliament for East Yorkshire, Sir Greg Knight, is one of 111 MPs that have written an open letter to David Cameron calling on the Government to deliver school funding reform, which would ensure fair funding based on pupil need.

In his recent spending review statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne confirmed that the Government will act to change the system and it is anticipated that a consultation on a new fairer funding arrangement will be announced soon.

Sara Bone is behind the F40 campaign for fair funding for children across the UK and wants to see reform.

“Why should a child who attends a school in Hull receive £500 more than a child living in Bridlington? The funding of a child’s education in the English state system is simply not fair,” she said.

“The school community in Bridlington has been very supportive of our campaign for Fairer Funding for schools in the East Riding and we will continue to support the national campaign that Sir Greg Knight and Graham Stuart are pushing in Parliament,” she added.