Thornhill Primary School staff, students and parents rally against funding cuts
PUBLISHED: 12:28 25 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:28 25 March 2017
The deputy head of an Islington primary school has warned funding cuts could leave schools unable to afford the most experienced teachers.
There was an added bite to a parents’ evening at Thornhill Primary School this month as families were briefed on how education budgets are being slashed across the country.
According to projected National Union of Teachers figures – which can be found at schoolcuts.org – the government’s “fair funding formula” could result in Thornhill losing six teachers by 2019, and facing a shortfall of £675 per pupil.
Although a band of parents have already taken it upon themselves to spread word of the cuts, deputy headteacher Paul Robinson believes raising awareness is key.
He told the Gazette this week: “I think because there is always talk about cuts in the media, be it about education or the NHS, that parents sometimes aren’t aware of the detrimental impact cuts can have at a localised level – as is the case with schools in Islington.
“Parents are proud of the enriched curriculum here. We have a resident poet, a puppeteer and a professional artist working at the school.
“We want to remain in the position where we can try and get the best teachers available and not just the best that we can afford. That is the challenge we are facing.”
With the borough facing a budget decrease of £15million by 2019, and a loss of 391 teachers, Mr Robinson believes schools need to work together to lobby the government.
“Islington schools need to work together on this. It is not a political issue, but one that needs to be lobbied across the borough.
“We have a really passionate community and a hugely talented group of parents here at Thornhill, who will ensure that they raise as much awareness as possible about any funding cuts that will have a huge impact on society as a whole.”
The consultation on the government’s school funding plan ended last week, with a decision expected to be made by the Department of Education before the summer.