Teachers volunteer for £7,000 pay cut to save colleagues’ jobs

Teachers at a cash-strapped primary school have volunteered to take a £7,000-a-year pay cut to save the jobs of colleagues. The Guardian reports

Schools across the country are so short of funds that headteachers are being forced to make drastic cutbacks. In a stark example of the funding squeeze, Furzedown primary school, in the south London borough of Wandsworth, had instigated a series of measures to balance its books and was facing the possibility of making redundancies.

But five teachers have stepped in to save their colleagues and agreed to take a salary reduction of up to £7,000 a year – enough to safeguard the jobs of two classroom assistants. Furzedown’s head, Monica Kitchlew-Wilson, said that some of the volunteers were now on 80% of their previous salary.

“Without these voluntary pay cuts we could not run the service we provide for the children and would be delivering a poorer, less balanced curriculum,” she said.

Heads are in the middle of an acute funding crisis because of rising costs and falling per-pupil funding in some areas. School funding per pupil has fallen by 8% in real terms over the past eight years, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Heads have appealed to parents to pay for basic items such as pens and glue sticks. Some are closing at lunchtime on a Friday to save money.

On Monday hundreds of schoolchildren from Cambridge, along with their parents and teachers, are expected to join a march in protest at funding cuts to schools. The decision to march was taken by parents of pupils at St Matthew’s primary school after headteacher Tony Davies went public with his frustration,saying that the school was getting a £60,000 reduction in funding next year.

In West Yorkshire, one head has in effect sacked himself to save money: Ray Henshaw, the principal of Minsthorpe community college, in Wakefield, will take early retirement next month.

The college’s chair of governors, Beverley Semper, said: “This is a selfless act on his part and has been brought on by the financial cutbacks the college has had to undertake this year … He recognised that a restructure of senior leaders was necessary, his own position being the first of these cuts.” The two vice-principals will now run the school.

Read the full article Teachers volunteer for £7,000 pay cut to save colleagues’ jobs

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