Maths talks puts Ottery school funding in spotlight

Kings School Headteacher Rob Gammon with the Parliamentary Review. sho 37 18TI 1299. Picture: Terry

Kings School Headteacher Rob Gammon with the Parliamentary Review. sho 37 18TI 1299. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The head of The King’s School has reassured parents it will continue to provide an ‘even better education’ despite ongoing pressures on school funding.

Rob Gammon spoke out about how the school balances its books after it was revealed that it plans to restructure its maths department.

Mr Gammon said its consultation followed Government changes to the GCSE curriculum and that compulsory redundancies were not currently proposed.

This week, headteachers were asked to respond to a letter calling for fairer funding, as pupils in Devon receive £294 less than the national average. Mr Gammon said the school would receive an extra £277,000 a year if the gap were addressed.

He said: “Under our proposals, the budget for the maths department will still increase next year. But we will make some savings, which will help us to set a balanced budget, as we are required to do by law.

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“We have already reduced our senior management team as a way of saving money. Far from facing potential job reductions, that would allow us to employ around 10 more newly qualified teachers to provide an even better education than our students currently enjoy.”

The letter was sent to headteachers by Devon County Council – on behalf of the Devon Association of Secondary Heads (DASH) and Primary Heads (DAPH) – to share examples of how their schools are being affected by the loss of funding. It also links to a national petition setting out how schools have had to ‘make ends meet’ by cutting back on areas such as teaching and non-teaching staff, support for more vulnerable pupils, resources and repairs to buildings.

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The petition, with more than 60,000 signatures, has until May to reach 100,000 to trigger a discussion in Parliament.

The letter says: “We are determined to articulate a united and consistent message from Devon to central government, as well as the county’s MPs, to support the case for an overall fairer funding settlement. This reinforces the argument that there is simply not enough money in the system.”

To sign the petition visit which will expire on May 19, 2019.

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