I am a Deputy Head in a large inner city comprehensive, which has been much praised for the all-round education it provides to its very diverse intake of students. I feel in the current climate that I have to stay anonymous.
I am deeply concerned at the harmful effects that funding constraints - both now and going forward under the proposed new funding formula - will have on the education and life-chances of our students.
The cuts will, without doubt, really affect our school’s ability to do its core work in the classroom. More and more is being done by less and less as the cuts impact on both staff and learning resources.
However, I want to highlight another aspect. It is crucial that we do not forget the importance of extra-curricular activities to educate the whole child. I am profoundly worried about their future. There is almost no money left in the pot for anything which is not a core activity.
Furthermore, the cuts will take away the vital capacity of teachers to offer more. Due to teachers teaching more hours and larger classes, we are exhausting their goodwill and energy to support those vital extra-curricular projects that are essential for so many of our students.
As a truly comprehensive school where many students do not automatically get exposed to art, sport, the City and a multitude of experiences that other children are lucky enough to have, my school passionately believes in the whole child and it is projects like Duke of Edinburgh; global links with our partner school in Africa; Community Volunteering; Artsmark, drama projects; enterprise and more that build up resilience, confidence and a sense of wonder.
These funding cuts tear at the very heart of the wonderful community school where I work. We have an ethos and values that put education of the whole child and of every child at its centre. Our vital work will be jeopardised.
I am upset above all for the children but also for the teachers. And I am also upset for the country - surely we can afford to properly fund education of the next generation in the sixth richest country in the world?