We recently wrote about why school funding continues to dominate the education news headlines. Now NAHT (the National Association of Head Teachers) has announced that they are ramping up their school funding still in crisis campaign.
It's important for parents to be informed about issues affecting schools from a range of sources. Earlier this year we released Parentkind’s position on school funding in England, which was informed by the results of our 2016 annual Parent Survey.
We know from our 2016 and 2017 annual survey of parents that schools are increasingly asking parents to donate to the school fund, and that parents are doing so in larger numbers and quantities than ever before. The requests are made to help schools meet running costs at a time when budgets are not being increased in line with rising demand and costs. This also shows how essential parents are in the education landscape.
Why is school funding topical?
The Autumn Budget, which will be announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, on Wednesday 22nd November, will be the last opportunity in 2017 to see an increase in funding for schools.
By lobbying government directly and keeping school funding in the news headlines, campaigners hope that the pressure exerted will be enough to see increased funding for education announced with the Budget.
What are leading education unions and political parties saying?
- NAHT: “School budgets are being stretched up and down the UK, with a complex set of circumstances affecting each of the nations… We are asking school communities to work together to highlight the impact the lack of funding is having now and to call on the Chancellor for increased investment.”
- ASCL: “The overall national education budget should be set such that all educational institutions can be funded at a level that enables them to provide an outstanding quality of education for their students.”
- NUT: “The Chancellor will be setting next year’s budget in November so the time is now for us to come together again to keep the pressure on for a properly funded education system.”
- NEU: Take action on funding campaign.
- Headteachers' roundtable: “We believe sufficient school funding, the supply of enough great teachers and maintaining school buildings to a high standard must be the direct responsibility of any elected Government.”
- Fairer Funding for Schools: “Join our parent-led campaign to fight the cuts to schools and protect all our children's education.”
- IFS: “We forecast that school spending per pupil is likely to fall by around 8% in real terms (based on a school specific measure of inflation) between 2014–15 and 2019–20.”
- EPI: New analysis on how the government can proceed with school funding and a new National Funding Formula.
Ways to make your voice heard and support your school
See our Get Involved at School section for some great ideas, including:
- Join your PTA – many PTAs not only fundraise for their school but put on school events that build a community that come together in good times and bad.
- Set up your own parent group – with help from our Developing Parent Voice step-by-step guidance
- Ask your school to set up and support a parent council or forum
- Get informed – our Understanding Education guides give parents an easy-to-digest overview of timely topics such as the national funding formula and pupil premium.
Parents who want to get more involved
We know many of our member parent groups already see parent voice (giving parents a say in school policy and decision-making) as part of the remit of their PTA, and we advocate on behalf of all parents as important stakeholders in the education of their child.
Any parent or PTA asked to support a school funding campaign may find these questions for school leaders and campaigners helpful in making up their mind if or how they want to engage with different events or initiatives.
Image of Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor: Glenn Fawcett [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons