Sponsors’ donations to schools are ‘driving inequality, says Jon Chaloner, founding member and Vice Chair of the Headteachers’ Roundtable. Speaking to Schools Week*, he said:
‘In terms of equality of access to educational provision, the growth of such funding is driving inequality between those who have the “right” contacts and can raise funds in this way in comparison to those who simply do not’.
Yesterday I wrote about how free, universal state education is undermined when parents are asked to set up regular donations. Such donations are often claimed to be for extra-curricular activities but they may increasingly be used to pay for basics such as staff and resources. For example, the flagship West London Free School is supported by parental donations via the West London Free School Foundation Trust. The school’s website says the money is not just used for extra-curricular activities but ‘additional textbooks’ and ‘the provision and maintenance of facilities, services, equipment and teaching aids’. And, as I pointed out yesterday, South Farnham School Trust said it was likely to be asked to pay for ‘additional staff’ at its school.
Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Lecturers, told Schools Week it was ‘great people want to donate to schools’ but added a warning:
‘The difficult is that it’s creating an uneven playing field. It always reverts to the bottom line – it’s the state’s duty to provide sufficient funding for schools to deliver a quality education’.
FIGHT FOR ADEQUATE FUNDING OF EDUCATION IN ENGLAND
Parents are mobilising against the cuts. Find out more about the parent led campaign at: http://www.fairfundingforallschools.org/
See NUT leaflet, Every child deserves the best Invest, don’t cut, here.
You can see the scale of the cuts facing each of the schools in your local area at http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk/#/
*Schools Week print edition, 3 March 2017. Article available on line 6 March 2017.