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Head to become budget boon

Primary head Sheelagh Tickell has had to turn herself into a fundraiser, taking on extra work to bring cash into her school.

Goathland primary in Longbenton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne has lost four full-time teachers, three of them experienced .

But even after these cuts, the school still has a deficit of pound;87,000.

The school has a falling roll which Mrs Tickell puts down to housing redevelopment in North Tyneside.

"Rumour had it that the budget was going to be tough, and I knew we had a falling roll. So I expected to lose money, I didn't expect to lose that much.

"It's going to squeeze everybody. Everyone's going to have to take on additional roles. The freeing up of time for teaching staff is non-negotiable in this school - we haven't got the budget."

This term special educational needs is being taken on by the deputy head and assistant heads, there will be mixed-aged classes at reception and Year 1, and much bigger classes.

She has looked at ways of using staff and school resources to generate income - starting with herself.

"I've taken on consultancy work for the LEA which will release me from school and bring in money. I'm hoping to become an National Professional Qualification for Headship trainer to earn money for the school."

However, she will be absent from the school for two or three days a week and the school will not be able to afford supply cover, so she fears standards will slip.

"We have had two excellent Ofsted reports. Our last inspection found no issues for improvement. I suspect when we're inspected again in four years time, it will find some.

"If the head's out of the school two or three days a week doing other things to raise money for the school, things go wrong."

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