Thousands of headteachers across England are writing to parents to warn that there is “simply not enough money in the system” to fund schools properly, as their costs continue to rise and budgets come under severe pressure.
The letter from more than 4,000 heads will tell around a million families that the government’s new national funding formula still means their children face an unfair “postcode lottery”, with some schools able to afford class sizes of 20 but similar schools in other regions forced to have classes of 35 pupils.
The heads argue that the proposed national formula – designed to iron out historic disparities in funding – will do little to solve the funding crisis affecting many state schools.
“The finances of very low-funded schools are still insufficient to provide the service that your child needs,” the letter, due to be sent on Thursday to parents of children in 17 counties, will say.
“Parents and carers need to be clear that schools in very similar socioeconomic areas will continue to have entirely different levels of funding. This often amounts to hundreds of thousands of pounds in the primary sector and even millions of pounds across the secondary sector. Far from being resolved, your child’s #education will still be at the behest of a postcode funding lottery.”
Calculations done by the heads found that – despite the promise by the education secretary, Justine Greening, of £1.3bn extra cash – the proposal amounts to a real-terms cut of 4.6% by 2020 compared with five years earlier.