Brighton headteacher ‘dismayed’ as calls for funding review are ‘ignored’ by Government

Richard Bradford, headteacher at Dorothy Stringer
Richard Bradford, headteacher at Dorothy Stringer

The headteacher of a Brighton secondary school has spoken of his ‘dismay’ over the Government’s response to concerns over funding.

Richard Bradford, headteacher of Dorothy Stringer, has written to parents today (Friday) saying school budgets have seen ‘real term cuts’ of eight per cent since 2010.

Mr Bradford said headteachers’ attempts to meet with the Education Secretary have been refused, and they were told the Secretary of State’s time was ‘heavily pressurised and their diaries need to be prioritised according to ministerial, Parliamentary and constituency business’.

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Mr Bradford said: “We are dismayed that he has chosen to ignore our communications and repeated requests to meet.

“Given the seriousness of the current school funding crisis and the impact upon schools, children and families, head teacher colleagues and I, believe that this approach is entirely ill-judged.”

Around 2,000 headteachers have campaigned at Westminster for a funding review as part of the ‘Worth Less?’ campaign.

Writing to parents, Mr Bradford said: “Sadly, I have to confirm that despite intense lobbying of the Government and Department for Education, matters remain extremely challenging. In short, schools are still not being provided with adequate funding and resource to deliver the level of provision and support that is expected and that our families and children deserve.

“Often, the most vulnerable students in our schools – those from disadvantaged backgrounds or those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) – are bearing the brunt of cuts and schools are struggling to provide the levels of support that they are entitled to.

“These issues are not simply affecting a few schools. They are common features across our education system up and down the country. Levels of concern are so widespread amongst headteachers that we are all working together with a united voice.

“We continue to recognise that there is not a ‘bottomless pit’ of money and also acknowledge that many local MPs from across the political spectrum are taking a supportive approach. We must make clear, however, that the current response from the Department for Education is inadequate.”

He thanked parents for their support, and said: “We urge you to continue to make representations to your local MP and to the Department for Education and wider Government to ensure that matters improve.”