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Primaries shortchanged on funding

A GOLD star for Phil Revell (Opinion, TES, January 19). We have both been primary heads for many years and never before have the pressures on staff been so great.

A significant burden for all schools is the enormous number of initiatives which are being introduced or implemented. Requirements for revised Curriculum 2000 planning, assessment, records of special needs, introduction of the foundation year and implementation of the numeracy and literacy strategies, New Opportunities Fund training and target-setting have all increased the workload on primary staff.

On top of those initiatives, schools are being asked to implement threshold applications and a complex performance-management process, often replacing well-run appraisal systems.

We would not disagree that many of these developments play a part in raising standards but no ne seems to have any idea of the impact and pressure they are having on schools. This pressure is much greater on primaries where inadequate funding means timetabled non-contact time for teachers is impossible. In reality, many primary staff also have to supervise pupils at playtimes and this often means that they do not get a morning break at all.

One answer must be to reduce the huge disparity between primary and secondary finances. Can someone tell us why last year our primaries got pound;47 per pupil for non-teaching support while local secondaries got pound;85? We are not suggesting a cut in secondary funding but that a serious look needs to be taken at the disparity.

Brian Cash

Headteacher, Westgate primary

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Richard Rice

Headteacher, Sebert Wood primary

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

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