Wales Online is reporting that a school in Wales rated ‘excellent’ by inspectors has called on parents to put their hand in their pocket to help cover the cost of a new roof and computers.
Governors at Rhiwbeina Primary School in Cardiff say they are facing a “significant budget shortfall” of more than £100,000 next year and warned that “difficult financial decisions” were likely to be made unless support is found.
In a letter to parents, the school’s governing body said: “The school is facing huge costs pressures around staff budgets and other improvements necessary to maintain the school to the standard we expect our children to be taught in and to provide the teaching staff with the tools they need.
“The infant school roof for example needs to be replaced, as do all the computers and projectors used by the teachers in every classroom.
“Even without replacing the school roof or investing in new computers, the school faces a significant budget shortfall of over £100,000 from April 1, 2016. This rises to nearly £200,000 from April 1, 2017.
“The school is not permitted to deliver a deficit budget and therefore financial cut backs and difficult financial decisions, that may impact on planned educational initiatives, are increasingly likely.”
Governors said they had relayed their predicament to Cardiff council but had been advised that no further funding was currently available.
They added: “With this information in mind, the governing body would be very grateful for the continuing support and assistance of parents with regards all matters financial.
“Other schools in north Cardiff for example ask parents for a termly voluntary contribution per family, that would go towards updating valuable educational facilities and resources, such as the IT suites, class based technology, [and] sports facilities etc…”
Whether in Wales or elsewhere, how common is it becoming for schools to ask parents for termly voluntary contributions?
I know it happens commonly in faith schools in England to support building repairs, with some accusations the requests are demands rather than requests, but as budget cuts bite are we going to see more and more of it?
And, if so, that will presumably widen the gap between those in schools in disadvantaged areas and those at schools in more prosperous areas?
Your thoughts? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link