State education should not be paid for by parents – Blaise Tapp

Headteachers from across England and Wales hold signs in Parliament Square, London, as they prepare to march on Downing Street to demand extra cash for schools. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 28, 2018. See PA story EDUCATION Headteachers. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Headteachers from across England and Wales hold signs in Parliament Square, London, as they prepare to march on Downing Street to demand extra cash for schools. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 28, 2018. See PA story EDUCATION Headteachers. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

The vast majority of parents, even the really hopeless ones, want their children to have the best possible start in life.

It is hardwired into human nature that most adults will do what it takes to nurture their young and help them grow into fine little people.

Some dead-eyed obsessives will march their offspring around auditions and talent shows until they are discovered by Simon Cowell while others will take junior down the park every afternoon until they really do learn to bend it like Beckham.

Most of us, however, believe that success in life boils down to one thing and one thing only, a good education.

Last week 7,000 headteachers put their names to a letter which was sent out to parents, explaining what they are trying to do to tackle the funding crisis affecting so many of our country’s schools.

The government line is that more money is now being spent on education than at any time in our history, with funding set to rise nationally to £43.5bn by next year. 

But official figures are hotly disputed by those on the frontline with WorthLess? – the campaign formed to tackle the issue – estimating that school budgets have been cut by eight per cent since 2010, the year the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition took power.

Last autumn 2,000 headteachers, including my daughter’s, converged on Westminster to hammer home their point that some schools really are worse off than others in different parts of the country.

It can’t be right that some children’s schools are so much more badly off than others less than an hour’s drive away.

It is now commonplace for parents in some parts of the land to make a ‘suggested donation’ to the school coffers, while others send out online wishlists, asking families to pay for basics such as stationery. Some parents can and will put their hands deep into their pockets but a good education in Britain is supposed to be accessible to all.

Rather than Brexit, it is this issue, an issue which matters more than any other, which should be front and centre of the national debate right now.

We owe it to our kids.