Two schools in Theresa May’s constituency of Maidenhead have sent letters to parents, asking for donations. Teachers said that they are so penniless due to cuts made by the Conservative Party in charge that they need donations of £190 a year to pay for “glue, pens, pencils, exercise books, paper, tape, paint.” The letters also said that the donations would help pay for tools, software, science equipment, musical instruments, and would help keep the amount of teaching support staff stable.
The schools this effects are Robert Piggott infant and junior schools in Wargrave, Becks, which is in the Maidenhead area. The letters blamed “national changes to school funding” for the crisis.
Theresa May has stated before that she is committed to funding education adequately. She has also said that there are now “record levels of funding.”
However, the Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner disagrees. She says: “Theresa May was elected to represent Maidenhead on a manifesto that guaranteed to protect school funding but she can’t even keep promises to her own voters let alone the rest of the country.”
Joint general secretary Dr Mary Bousted added: “Parents should not be expected to pay for their children’s education. And it is wrong to rely on the goodwill of parents to meet the shortfall.”
Parents gathered at the school yesterday to discuss the letters sent to them on Tuesday. Since they’re already struggling with rising living costs, many were unhappy about this situation.
One parent, Neil Harling, said: “It’s not good. But we’ll pay it if it helps the children. I don’t think we should be paying.”
However, another dad said: “I won’t be paying for it and that’s it.”
While Theresa May has yet to comment on this, there is some hope in the words of School Standards Minister Nick Gibb. He says that: “The introduction of the National Funding Formula from 2018/9, backed by £1.3billion of additional investment will put an end to historic disparities. Robert Piggott schools are set to gain around £10,000 a year in total.”
But in the meantime, those parents will have to start donating if they don’t want their child to be pen-less.