Another headteachers’ march on Westminster, but what else can be done?

In just over a month’s time – on 27th September – Headteachers will again march on Westminster in protest over the school funding shortfall. As many as 5,000 school leaders are expected to take part in the event which is being organised by the Worth Less? campaign and is backed by the NAHT headteachers’ union.

The FundStar team give our backing to all those involved and, as our Founder David Evans MBE has said:

“Every school we speak to reports a unique experience of the effects of funding pressures, but what unites headteachers, teachers, governors, trustees and parents are concerns about immediate and long-term damage caused to children’s education. Initiatives to press for more government funding should not stop but it is time for schools to take a more focused approach to raising funds for particular projects they wish to generate funding for that will help them deliver more opportunities for pupils.”

 

It is true that schools cannot wait until 2022 – the period of the spending review being discussed – for more money, and there is undoubtedly sympathy with those marching because “it’s the only thing left we can do”. At the same time, whilst the pressure on government should continue, schools must consider every route to pay for both the ‘bare essentials’ and the added-value opportunities which will help children to thrive in their education. For many, that means inviting parents to contribute to the cause.

 

One of the first schools to sign up to FundStar is Tring School, a secondary school with academy status, with approximately 1,500 pupils aged between 11 and 18. “The ever-shrinking pool of money for education is a real concern and it is short-sighted on the part of those making the decisions,” said Rod Gibberd, the School’s Business Director. “Initiatives such as FundStar can do nothing but help. I was delighted that 24 hours after launching our first fundraising project, a number of parents signed up to FundStar. Donations are already being made to our dining-room furniture project.”

 

There is a sense of frustration and desperation in the sector over funding – we know that from the schools we are working with – but we also think we can help by offering schools a strategic and co-ordinated approach to their fundraising.

 

The FundStar team

26th August 2019