Asking parents to pay is not the solution

My local secondary school is facing horrendous budget cut’s. These cuts mean that the school cannot provide the resources the children need to learn. So they have decided to ask parents to step up and contribute some cash to make up for the shortfall. See https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/day-government-failed-provide-more-school-funding-a-comprehensive

Whilst I understand why they are doing this and that it is from the very best of motives I think that they are wrong. It sets a dangerous precedent, it undermines the concept of state education and it fails to acknowledge how unfair and unequal this is on the poorest schools.

I have written this open letter to all Merton head teachers. Please read. If you are a local parent or resident and agree then please use the form below  to add your signature.

Dear Heads,

We really feel for you at this incredibly difficult time. We think that for the most part you do a fantastic job and run our schools in a rigorous, compassionate and effective way.

Given the rising number of children and the falling levels of government funding it is understandable that some of you might be considering asking parents to step up to meet the financial shortfall. Please don’t.

It’s not just that we are worried that some parents themselves are also having a tough time financially. Although they are.

Rather, it is that we are worried that you will be undermining our state school system. It chips away at the idea that ALL children should receive the same educational opportunities regardless of their parents income.

It means that we accept the children in the poorest areas will have the least resources. How would we feel if the parents in the richest neighbourhoods decided to chip in and buy extra police just for their streets or extra ambulances just for their families?

A civilised society uses its taxation system to ensure that all contribute fairly to our public services. Those who earn most pay the most but the services are shared equally by those that need them

We really understand that you are being put in a difficult position and so we want to support you by campaigning for fair funding. Let us not just fend for ourselves. Let’s use our collective strength to stand up for ALL schools in Merton.

Yours sincerely,

Jackie Schneider,

Parent, teacher and local campaigner.

To ad your name to this letter please click here 

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