With schools expecting further funding cuts, a former government advisor has suggested that parents be asked to make a contribution.
Sir Andrew Carter proposed that schools ask for £500 per year to support their child’s education. He would use the extra funding himself to reduce class sizes, improving the teacher-student ratio; reducing teachers’ workload and in turn, improving teacher retention.
The teaching recruitment crisis has been widely reported in the media, would parents paying a ‘fee’ be part of the answer? Children on pupil premium would have their fee paid for them, but how much of an adverse effect would this have on other low income families?
This is not the first time parents have been asked to contribute financially. It was reported in 2014, that parents were being asked to make voluntary contributions towards ‘basic items’ usually covered by the school budget. Carter’s proposal therefore hints towards the level of cuts the system has had to face.
More recently, schools have turned to crowdfunding to help pay for technology. It has led Andrew Morris at the National Union for Teachers, to criticise government funding: “Schools should not have to go cap in hand like this to parents, and now to the public. The government needs to improve their funding instead of planning to cut it.”
As long as it is made clear that it is a voluntary contribution and not an obligation, schools are legally permitted to ask.
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