HEAD teachers, school staff and governors have backed the Funding for Schools campaign to get more cash for schools.

They argue staff pay, National Insurance and pension contributions have gone up faster than funding from the Government which is why more money for schools is urgently needed.

Alan Garnett, head teacher of North Primary School in Colchester, has been outspoken on the issue of schools’ funding.

The launch of our campaign, which he backs, and recent awareness of the issue among politicians, means he is optimistic but wants to see the money.

Mr Garnett said: “The battle for hearts and minds has been won.

“Colchester MP Will Quince said in Parliament ‘There is no meat left on the bone’.

“Witham MP Priti Patel has said that SEND [special educational needs and disabilities] funding is not sufficient.

“Former Education Secretary Michael Gove said on live TV that education spending has slipped in real terms since 2015.

“Hearts and minds have been won.

“It has taken two years to win the argument but win it we have.

“But not an extra penny has been found yet.

“Parents, governors, education unions, councillors and MPs need to continue with the campaign to keep this issue in the public eye and to make it a key electoral issue to concentrate the minds of our MPs.

“The success of the Essex County Council library campaign shows what can be achieved when a popular cause has the backing of a visible coalition of the public.”

READ MORE: Help us fight for more schools funding

Prettygate Infant and Junior schools in Colchester has been forced to make nine staff redundant at the end of this term.


Executive head teacher Rita Tingle, who backs the campaign, said: “All the areas in the public sector need money but the children are our future.

“If we don’t make sure they have the best education they possibly can then what’s going to happen to society?

“And we are also teaching them values.

“We just need some money so the children can learn in a pleasant environment.”

Fiona Pierson, head teacher of St Helena School, said: “Now, more than ever we are having to use resources efficiently.

“The reality for schools now is that they have to carefully balance resource with educational outcomes and providing a secure curriculum offer and enrichment experience for all, not the few.

“No doubt these challenges will be at the forefront of any planning for a school and its leaders.

“We welcome the support for this campaign, and any momentum it can add to the current campaign.”


Thurstable School head Miles Bacon added: “School funding is now at a point where the quality of education in our schools is being degraded. Thurstable had £897.21 per pupil less to spend in this school year than five years before, with costs having risen over that time by around ten per cent. Our local MP, Priti Patel, has campaigned powerfully on this issue, and education ministers are listening.

“They will be putting the case for returning some of the funding that has been lost to schools over the past five years, and we need to do all we can to help education ministers and our local MPs to fight for a fair share for our schools of whatever public money is available. I welcome the Daily Gazette and Essex County Standard campaign. We must invest in our future.”


Jackie Irwin, head teacher of Stanway Fiveways Primary School, said: “Luckily we have not had to make any staff redundant but we are eating into our contingency budget which year on year we cannot maintain.

“We would then have to look at other ways of balancing the books.

“I don’t know how we’d manage losing support staff.”

The school has seen funding reduced in real terms by nearly £230,000 since 2015, equivalent to £290 per pupil.