A GROUP of local headteachers and Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff met with education minister Nick Gibb to discuss the financial pressures facing schools in the district.
Miss Sherriff secured the meeting in London last week so that the headteachers could raise their concerns with the minister in person after they contacted her about the funding difficulties their schools are facing.
Andy Blakeley, head at Hopton Primary School in Mirfield, told how he has been forced to teach five classes together in the school hall on Friday afternoons.
While headteacher at St Aidan’s CofE Academy, Evelyne Barrow, said she personally had to open the school at 7am and close it at 7pm because the budget can’t cover a caretaker’s wages.
“It was good to have the opportunity to raise local concerns with the Minister directly, and our headteachers really took him to task over the financial shortages facing our schools,” said Miss Sherriff.
“More and more is being expected of schools and teachers, but the funding is just not being provided. I pressed for more government funding to be made available and the Minister listened to our concerns.
“Overall, we left feeling hopeful that we had been heard, and had been able to give a real-world view of the daily challenges facing local schools.
“But we need action on this now – headteachers like ours and across the country are being forced to make impossible choices over class teachers, support staff, classroom resources, and even school closures, and cannot afford to wait an unspecified amount of time for an unspecified amount of extra funding.
“It is vital that this promised, additional funding comes as soon as possible, and I will continue to do all I can to hold this Tory Government to account.”