A Sheffield headteacher is ‘delighted’ after securing £90,000 in extra funding – on the very day parents called a crisis meeting amid rumoured cuts.
More than 1,300 parents signed a petition amid speculation that King Ecgbert School in Totley was axing its highly praised resource for helping children with learning disabilities.
In the wake of the petition, parents attended a meeting at the school on Tuesday evening.
But, incredibly, headteacher Lesley Bowes discovered her appeal for extra funding had been approved by the council – just hours before the meeting was due to take place.
The extra cash means the schools Integrated Resource, or IR, department, which helps children with complex needs like autism and attention deficit disorder, will remain as it is.
Ms Bowes said: “I was delighted to announce at the meeting the school had secured an additional £3,200 funding for all 28 of our integrated resource pupils.
“It was great to be able to reassure parents who were concerned. My feelings at the end of the meeting were of relief and delight.”
Ms Bowes said that a planned restructuring of the department had been misinterpreted by parents.
She said: “The meeting went very well. The parents were completely reassured that IR pupils will continue to have the exemplary provision they have come to expect.
“The national average of IR students in schools is 1.8 per cent. At King Ecgbert’s we have 4.6 per cent. Parents who have children with complex needs turn to our school because we do lead the way.
“Despite all schools getting a 12 per cent budget reduction in real terms, the IR at King Ecgbert’s will remain as it is.”
Parents Of The Children Against The Restructure Of The IR Unit at KES started the change.org petition with a single signature.
The petition, which was launched by concerned mum Tracey Cox was signed by a total of 1,375 people before it was handed in.
‘Victory’ messages posted on the petition in recent hours.
To view it, visit: https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-sen-jayne-ludlam-stop-the-restructure-of-the-integrated-resource-at-king-ecgbets-school-sheffield