Roundtable with Walsall Headteachers

On Friday 11 June 2021, I attended a roundtable with headteachers from schools in Walsall to listen to their concerns and discuss the key issues affecting schools in my constituency.

We discussed many of the problems facing school budgets. Schools have lost significant income during the pandemic, from sources such as facilities hire, and there is no means to recover this loss; schools do not have access to grants available to businesses. 

An IFS Report published last year confirmed that schools are now suffering the biggest fall in funding since the 1980s. The spending commitments announced by the Government before the pandemic were inadequate and, for many schools, too little too late. One headteacher said that her own school budget will be in deficit of over £100,000 in three years without staffing cuts – which is the only thing left to cut as they have reduced all other costs as much as possible.

Analysis from the Education Policy Institute has revealed that a multi-year funding package of £10–15 billion is required to make up the lost learning seen by pupils as a result of the pandemic. The Government have offered a package of £1.7bn over a period of three years. I spoke with headteachers about the impact this would have on children, young people and teachers in Walsall. I share their concerns and will continue to make representations on behalf of schools in my constituency for increased funding and resources.