Budget 2017: Camden headteachers call on Philip Hammond to halt ‘relentless school cuts’

Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond. Photo by PA

Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond. Photo by PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Camden headteachers have joined forces to highlight the impact of “relentless cuts” in the run-up to Philip Hammond’s budget announcement on Wednesday.

Education secretary Justine Greening. Photo by PA.

Education secretary Justine Greening. Photo by PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

In a letter sent to the chancellor of the exchequer and education secretary Justine Greening on Friday, heads set out their concerns including “untenable budgets”, the risk of losing teachers and being forced to offer a reduced curriculum.

The unions responsible for the School Cuts website – the NEU teaching union, the NAHT headteachers’ union, Unison, Unite and GMB – are predicting that Camden’s schools are facing an £8.4million funding shortfall by 2020.

The letter, signed by the heads of 41 primary and secondary schools from across the borough, states: “We cannot see how we will be able to continue to provide our current level of provision in the future with such drastic cuts to our funding.

“Nor can we see how we are going to maintain morale among our dedicated staff if funding is going to be relentlessly cut for the foreseeable future.

“Recruitment and retention of teachers in London is already an immense challenge for schools.”

The group has also asked both MPs to come to Camden and meet some of the state-educated children who will benefit from a revised funding formula.

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Ms Greening, who hit out at union websites earlier this month for producing “scaremongering” funding cuts figures, pledged an extra £1.3bn for schools over the next two years, in a bid to “raise standards, promote social mobility and give every child the best possible education”.

According to the group, “Camden’s children are achieving increasingly high results at each point of their school life”.

The letter concludes: “This success has been achieved through close collaboration between schools and high levels of investment in services to deliver a world class education. To achieve this, our schools provide essential support to some of the most vulnerable children and families in the country.

“As Camden headteachers, we are proud of our schools and our partnership approach to ensuring the best possible outcomes for all the children in our care. Please ensure that we have the resources to maintain and develop our world class system of state comprehensive education.”