Welwyn Garden City head: ‘Schools are struggling to make ends meet’

Sir Frederic Osborn School headteacher Jed Whelan

Sir Frederic Osborn School headteacher Jed Whelan - Credit: Archant

Government funding cuts have left schools struggling to balance the books without harming children’s education, according to the head of one Welwyn Garden City comprehensive.

Jed Whelan, headteacher of Sir Fredric Osborn School, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times that cost pressures were “immense”

He said: “The cost pressures on every school have been immense ever since we entered the period of government austerity.

“We have made representations to our MP on several occasions as well as contacting Government directly. Most schools are struggling to make ends meet but I can assure you that no school will ever compromise the life chances of children in their care.

“Over the last few years schools’ budgets have been cut by 8 to 10 per cent in real terms. This is because we have been expected to pay for unfunded pay rises, increased pension and National Insurance contributions. Cuts to various sources of local government funding have also impacted on the services provided to schools such as educational welfare.

“We know these are difficult times for the finances of our country but we must recognise the huge importance of education and see it as an investment in our country’s future.”

Hannah Nemko, headteacher of Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar, said: “We are looking at a 2.9 per cent cut in our government funding as a result of the National Funding Formula over the next two years. We are looking at a real terms cut in funding of approximately eight per cent by 2019.”