Funding cuts: 'Dear Damian Hinds...Come to my school and tell me where more savings can be made'

One chair of governors at a primary school writes a second open letter to the education secretary about education funding cuts

Anita O'Sullivan

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Dear Mr Hinds,

I am writing to follow up a letter sent to Justine Greening on 3 May 2017.  This email was:

  • Sent to Justine Greening in email and letter form. 
  • Theresa May was copied in on the email
  • It was also sent to No 10 Downing Street
  • A copy of the letter and subsequent invitation was published b Tes.

In my first letter I explained how at the school where I am chair of governors, we are a living example of the devastation about to hit the education system even though we have made all of the cuts we can. I challenged your predecessor to come in and see how we could do it cheaper and maintain academic standards.

I asked Ms Greening to come to our school and make the decisions for us in terms of the next step. I hoped she would tell us how we could make it work now that we have done everything that has been asked of us.  

At the time of writing, we were just about to lose one of the leadership team (rated "outstanding" by Ofsted) because we couldn’t afford to keep him and we couldn’t promote the other to head because she isn't a Catholic. 

I was very disappointed to receive no response from any one of these attempts at contact. Nevertheless, all of the points raised in my email still remain.  The situation is now, however, at crisis point. Our new head is in place and I must now insist, as chair of governors, that you contact me to arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss this matter.

'Simply not enough money in the pot'

As governors, we are accountable for the finances of the school and we are not prepared to slide into a deficit with no recovery plan, as there is simply not enough money in the pot to run the school.  If this was the private sector, I would be calling in the receivers and working out a date to close the business as the numbers simply do not stack up. 

Our children are this country’s biggest asset. I am not prepared to take responsibility for putting their future in jeopardy. I want you, as education secretary, to come to my school and make that decision for me. I am happy to meet you in London or for you to come to my school.

Anita O’Sullivan,

Chair of governors,

St Andrew's Catholic Primary School, Solihull

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Anita O'Sullivan

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