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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

Now’s the time to apply to for your child’s secondary school place in Crawley

Families with children due to start secondary school in September 2020 can now apply for places online.

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Applications will be open until Thursday 31 October 2019.

Parents should apply for their child’s secondary school place by the deadline. Applying after the deadline will seriously affect the chances of your child being offered one of your preferred schools.

The quickest and easiest way to get information and apply is online: www.westsussex.gov.uk/school-places but those unable to apply online can request a form by calling 03330 142903.

The secondary school application online process is quick and simple, and an automatic email will acknowledge that the application has been received. Free use of computers with internet access is available in all West Sussex libraries.

Tips to remember when applying for secondary school applications: 

  • Parents are encouraged to apply for up to three schools and must list them in order of preference.
  • A child is not guaranteed a place at a school just because they are in the catchment area. Parents will need to select the catchment school as part of their application for it to be considered.
  • Those who miss the deadline for applications must still submit an application form, as a child will not automatically be allocated a school.

Richard Burrett, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said:

“This is an important step for children and their families, and we want to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible. I would encourage all parents to submit their applications on time to give us the best opportunity to meet your preferences for your children. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Admissions Team.”

Primary or junior school applications

Applications for children due to start primary or junior school in September 2020 open on Monday 7 October and close on Wednesday 15 January 2020, more details to follow.

West Sussex County Council staff are available to advise parents on the admissions process. Parents can telephone 03330 142903 or email the Admissions Team North at admissions.north@westsussex.gov.uk or the Admissions Team South at admissions.south@westsussex.gov.uk.  

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