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‘We are at breaking point” Crawley headteachers pained words to parents as funding cuts continue

The headteacher of St Wilfrid’s, Michael Ferry, has penned a letter to parents that paints a ‘dire’ situation that without intervention will continue to get worst.

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“…what we are hearing today from colleagues across the country is that we are at breaking point.”

These are words from St Wilfrid’s head teacher and they are very telling of just how desperate schools up and down the country are.

With the lack of response from both letters and a march into Westminster, Mr Ferry has taken to writing a letter to his students parents explaining both the current situation and how the school will continue to campaign over the coming months.

But it is the words that he has used within the letter that paint the true picture of what is happening.

In his letter Mr Ferry says:

“We continue to recognise that there is not a ‘bottomless pit’ of money.” before adding, “We must make clear, however, that the current response from the Department for Education is inadequate.”

In-fact Mr Ferry is being very restrained with saying they have been “inadequate” and in-fact their response has been almost non-existent.

On sending the letter out Mr Ferry said:

“We continue to hear the rhetoric from ministers and the DfE that there is more money in education than ever before but what we are hearing today from colleagues across the country is that we are at breaking point. The reason why there is more money in schools than before is because there are more children in schools than ever before not because of real terms increases in investment. On Radio 4 this morning one Headteacher has described how she is cleaning the school herself because she can’t afford to pay for cleaners. We are being ignored and unless the Secretary of State takes immediate action to ensure that we receive fair and adequate funding we will need to continue to make even further cuts to provision within our schools. When the National Funding Formula was first discussed, it was called the National Fair Funding Formula, it is no surprise that the word “fair” has fallen by the wayside.

This letter to parents reinforces just how dire the state is regarding funding in education. We need parents and carers from across Crawley and West Sussex to contact their elected representatives and engage in the debate. Unless we see a change of direction from Damien Hinds and the DfE we will continue to see cuts within the system with the effect of seeing our children disadvantaged.”

You can read the full letter that has been sent out to parents today (8th March) here.

Education

Chelsea FC Foundation brings initiative to Crawley school

The Chelsea Champions Programme is a Premier League funded project that enables Chelsea FC Foundation to place full-time staff within secondary schools and Thomas Bennett Community College was chosen for their programme.

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The aim of their programme is to increase physical activity, support leadership qualities and improve social, emotional wellbeing and increase resilience of pupils through a number of universal, targeted and individual initiatives.

Cutting through the jargon it is an exercise on both educating and motivating young people, in particular those who may be finding it harder than others with everyday situations

A spokesperson for Cheslea FC Foundation said:

“Here at Thomas Bennett Community College (TBCC) our Chelsea Champion is; Lauren Owens, who is supported by a Chelsea mentor; Yannick Jean. The Chelsea Fc Foundation Sussex department have taken over the old youth wing attached to TBCC, rebranded and relaunched it as the Community Hub. Open every day after school from 3-5pm, Monday-Thursday to TBCC students and Primary School students on a Friday. During half term, we open the Hub for Holiday Activities.

As part of support offered at TBCC, Chelsea FC Foundation have developed the Skills School project. An alternative learning provision that is to encourage positive behaviour in a group of ‘high profile’ students that struggle within main stream lessons. They take part in a variety of different activities and topics from English to Health and Wellbeing, Maths to Personal Skills. The aim is not only to help improve their behaviour in and around school but improve their self-esteem and resilience.”

Last Friday (15th March), the u18s Chelsea Academy Scholars delivered a session based around raising aspirations.

The foundation said the session was something planned out by the U18s Chelsea Academy Scholars based on information that they were given about the group of students.

The activities included looking at questions to encourage conversations around the following; ‘what being a role model was?’, ‘what qualities does a good role model have?’ and ‘what does aspirations mean?’ The main message they  put across to the students involved in the activity was that hard work pays off.”

For more information on how Chelsea FC Foundation can support your school, club or community please contact them on sussexdevelopment@chelseafc.com.

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