Headteachers call for pupil funding balance

Ecclesall Infant School, High Storrs, Road. Picture: Andrew Roe
Ecclesall Infant School, High Storrs, Road. Picture: Andrew Roe

Headteachers from schools in south-west Sheffield are working with education chiefs to bridge a gap in funding.

They claim the way schools are funded per pupil has resulted in some schools in other areas having hundreds of thousands of pounds more in their budget this year.

Dobcroft Junior School, in Millhouses, is funded at £3,391 per pupil, but there are many schools in the city funded at more than £5,000 per pupil.

The funding gap has left some schools facing financial difficulties and as a result they have limited learning and IT resources, along with pressure on staffing levels.

The schools concerned are Dobcroft Infants and Juniors; Dore Primary; Ecclesall Infants; Ecclesall C of E Junior; Greystones Primary; Lydgate Infants and Juniors in Crosspool; Nether Green Infants and Juniors and Totley C of E Primary School.

Headteachers at these schools have teamed up to work with Sheffield Council and the Schools’ Forum – the body that decides how schools within the city are funded – to try and adopt a more balanced approach to allocating funds.

Jayne Ludlam, executive director of children, young people and families for Sheffield Council said the authority understands the headteachers’ frustration.

She said: “We are already in discussion with all schools across the city about funding arrangements.

“We already understand the frustration shared by some schools and we are working to address that through the forums in place to deal with funding and a number of positive meetings have already been held.”

A spokeswoman for the schools concerned said: “All of the schools involved are happy with the process that is being followed and wish to work with the local authority and all schools in Sheffield.”

l Letters: Page 6