Parents told: Pay £1 or see teacher sacked

BY FRAN ABRAMS

Education Correspondent

Parents at a primary school near Northampton have been told that they must pay £1 a week for each of their children or see a teacher made redundant.

Governors at Welford and Sulby Endowed School say they cannot cover a £7,500 budget shortfall unless parents agree to make regular voluntary contributions.

The move comes in the wake of nationwide protests from schools all over the country which are facing cuts after ministers refused to fund the teachers' 2.7 per cent pay rise. The governors at some schools have refused to set legal budgets this year and others have resigned in protest.

At Welford and Sulby, a small village school with just 100 pupils, parents were told at a meeting this week that an "extremely serious" situation meant the school could not keep all its staff on without their help.

Although state education must be free by law, parents have been asked to make voluntary contributions towards the cost of lunch-time supervision for their children. If sufficient pledges are not made by next week a teacher will have to go, they have been told.

A part-time teacher due to leave this summer is not being replaced, but staff numbers will have to be reduced by a further half-time teacher if the money is not found.

In addition to this measure, the school association, which usually raises money for non-essential items, will be asked to find £1,500. The school will also have to manage without extra help if any of its teachers fall ill in the next year.

Rev Richard Cattle, the chairman of governors, said the situation would have been much worse if it had not been for £8,500 which had been saved from last year's budget.

"We only have £20,000 for non-staff costs, and £3,500 of that has to go back to the local authority in rates. We decided to share our problem with parents and they were virtually unanimous in saying that they would support the school financially. Some said they would give even more money," he said.

Dr David Roberts, who has two children at the school, said some parents would refuse to pay though he thought he would probably agree to contribute.

"On principle I don't like it. I think it is something the Department for Education or the local authority should be paying. I don't mind putting in for the things that parent-teacher associations do, but when it is for something as fundamental as this I think things are coming to a pretty pass," he said.

David Blunkett, Labour's education spokesman, blamed ministers for the crisis and added that they should have recognised its gravity during a parliamentary debate on education this week.

"The government has passed the buck for teachers' pay directly to parents in this case. What is happening here shows that the Tory complacency in the Commons this week was far removed from reality," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'