Warning from Peterborough headteacher over funding cuts

A head teacher has warned that children's education at his school could be impacted by government cuts.

Saturday, 6th May 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:08 pm
Cllr John Holdich with Mike Sandeman at Arthur Mellows Village College ENGEMN00120120927192829

Mike Sandeman, head of college at Arthur Mellows Village College in Glinton, said a “funding crisis” means the school will need to make savings of £200,000 a year for the next three years due to rising costs and a loss of £50,000 because of the Government’s National Funding Formula.

Mr Sandeman has written to parents explaining that from September the late bus on Tuesdays will be scrapped, while pupils may not get to study a first-choice GCSE if the class size is too small.

Seven other cost-saving measures are also being considered.

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The secondary school has more than 1,500 pupils and is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Mr Sandeman told the Peterborough Telegraph: “We can ill afford to lose £50,000 per annum. You can make efficiency savings up to a point, but this goes beyond that. That’s why I wrote the letter that I did.

“We do not do these things lightly. I’m coming up towards 20 years as a head teacher and I’ve never written a letter like this. I believe Arthur Mellows has done a great job and we will continue to do that, but this makes it more difficult.”

The new funding formula will see Peterborough’s funding for schools rise by 2.7 per cent, with only Arthur Mellows and The King’s School losing money.

Peterborough City Council leader Councillor John Holdich, who is also cabinet member for education and a governor at Arthur Mellows, said he was pleased the funding formula would be fairer than the current formula, but he added: “The Government needs to look at the scheme and how it’s affecting different areas and different schools.

“It should not put good or outstanding schools in a disadvantaged position.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said the Government has “protected the core schools budget in real terms since 2010,” with funding set to rise.