Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield headteachers speak out over funding squeeze

Frederic Osborn School headteacher Jed Whelan

Frederic Osborn School headteacher Jed Whelan - Credit: Archant

Headteachers have revealed their fears about funding cuts that are due to hit their schools thanks to the Government’s spending squeeze.

Bishop's Hatfield headteacher Theo Nickson

Bishop's Hatfield headteacher Theo Nickson - Credit: Archant

Headteachers have revealed their fears about funding cuts that are due to hit their schools thanks to the Government’s spending squeeze.

According to Lib Dem county councillors, Hertfordshire’s schools will face a collective £23 million shortfall in 2016/17, after making £5 million savings in the current year, forcing some to make teachers redundant and reduce sixth-forms.

Jed Whelan, headteacher of Sir Fredric Osborn School in Welwyn Garden City. said: “Increases in employers’ National Insurance and pension contributions have not been reflected in the funding for schools.

“Schools also have seen their funding for our sixth forms reduced.


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“Circumstances are going to be very difficult for all schools, and there will be difficult choices to make.

“I was one of 40 secondary headteachers from across Hertfordshire who took our concerns to Westminster in July.

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“I am committed to minimising the impact, on both staff and the curriculum, of the efficiencies we will inevitably have to make”.

Theo Nickson, headteacher of Bishop’s Hatfield Girs’ School, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “They (the Lib Dems) are not exaggerating at all.

“Headteachers have been dealing with these issues for the last three years, and I think now it is really coming to a head.

“We are all managing our budgets very carefully.

“We are trying to get our message over to the Government.”

Although she is confident of avoiding redundancies thanks to advance planning, the school has already dropped some less popular subjects, and started fundraising to equip its new building, due to open in autumn 2016.

Ms Nickson warned that funding cuts were coinciding with increased payroll costs, while National Curriculum changes will force it to buy many new textbooks.

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