1,000 signatures reached
To: Kirsty Williams AM, Vaughan Gething AM, Alan Cairns MP & Stephen Doughty MP
Fund schools fairly in Penarth and end the school funding crisis across Wales
We call on the Welsh Government to fund schools in Penarth, the Vale of Glamorgan and all over Wales fairly and sufficiently.
1. Change the school funding formula in Wales to make it fair and equal for every child. This formula is currently under review by the Welsh Government after being based on 1991 census data.
The Penarth Head Teachers’ Cluster have released a letter stating that they believe the children of Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan are not being treated equally with their peers in Wales due to the inequality of funding across the 22 different Authorities.
2. End the funding crisis faced by the Penarth Cluster schools - a £1 million deficit this year, predicted to double next year. We are warned that our schools need this money just to function.
3. Fund schools all over Wales sufficiently to give our children the best start in life and properly support the staff who look after them.
Why is this important?
As a mum with a child in a primary school in Penarth, I am horrified to learn about the desperate measures our schools are having to take given this funding crisis.
In the Penarth Cluster of schools, head teachers are cleaning school facilities at weekends to earn rent; there are redundancies and teachers have to take on other paid work. At least one local school’s governing body is looking into the possibility of closing on Friday afternoons which would create difficulties for working parents and teachers. Next, we hear our children’s health and safety may be at risk.
I am shocked at the unfair and outdated formula used for school funding which seems fundamentally against The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, "A more equal Wales - where everyone has an equal chance whatever their background".
School funding is in crisis across Wales, yet the Welsh Government is expecting the introduction of a new curriculum; a new additional learning needs bill and for schools to produce 1 million Welsh speakers.
We already know that children in Wales achieve lower PISA scores than children anywhere else in the UK and have done for several years. But it's not just about academic achievement - our schools should be able to provide all-round education and support for all of our children to thrive.