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Scandal of budget silence

Yet again I have seen reference to the increase in school budgets in the coming year (TES, February 22). A couple of weeks ago, Estelle Morris was quoted as expecting heads to spend some of their extra cash on teaching assistants.

I have read this with dismay and anger as I sit up late at night wondering how to manage my school on between pound;100,000 and pound;200,000 less than I need just to provide the same level of education as in the current year (despite having an increased number of pupils).

There is a small number of schools in England, all of them in particularly badly-funded authorities, where spending cuts far deeper than those inflicted during Conservative governments are being planned, despite per-pupil funding already being among the lowest in the country. This is to take place under a government that has said education is its number one priority.

What makes me angry, however, is that no one seems to be listening. Officials at the Department for Education and Skills write back telling me that there is enough money, councillors tell me there isn't, but the reality will not go away.

Even The TES seems to be ignoring us - nowhere have I seen even a slight acknowledgement that while most schools are planning real-terms growth in spending, some of us are facing deep and damaging cuts.

Why this silence? What do I have to do to draw attention to this scandal and protect the rights of the 1,500 pupils for whom I am responsible?

John Peckham Headteacher, Bramhall high school Bramhall, Stockport

* The TES would like to hear from schools experiencing similar difficulties. Write to david.budge@tes.co.uk

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