COMMENT: Government mustÂ rethink how it funds our schools
Headteachers are not famed for their militancy. Yet in September more than 1,000 of them will meet in London to deliver a petition to the Chancellor.
They want more money under the government's controversial new funding formula for schools. Not for themselves but to give their schools some chance of turning out well-rounded, well-educated, decent members of societyÂ '“Â this country's future.
They want that cash to ensure leaking roofs are fixed, that the bestÂ teachers and specialist staff can be employed and that, most importantly, the money goes where it is desperately needed '“Â those areas of highest deprivation with the most vulnerable children.
Read our feature today on pages 6 and 7 and you will see that is now far from the case and a real crisis is looming for Portsmouth-areaÂ schools.Â
Among those heading for Parliament Square is Portchester Community School head Richard Carlyle. His school willÂ lose Â£140,000, but more worryingly he says: '˜The biggest losses are in those areas of greatest deprivation.'
His fears are echoed by Karen Stocks, the head at Arundel Court Primary Academy in Portsmouth. She says: '˜We are one of eight primary schools in the city centre where there are high levels of deprivation yetÂ between us we are going to be losing Â£270,000 from our budgets.'
Shockingly, in a world where technology is king and you live or die by your ability to master it, it seemsÂ some schools are no longer teaching that subjectÂ because they cannot afford it. Where on earth will that lead us?
Of course every sectorÂ wants more money whether it is the NHS, social services or defence.Â But if we fail to produceÂ future generations ofÂ nurses, surgeons and warship captains there will surely be little or noÂ hope.