Problem with altruism

5th September 2003 at 01:00
Much as I applaud the altruism displayed by Tim Dingle, headteacher of The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe (TES, August 29) I cannot help but feel that by pledging pound;15,000 of his salary over five years to ease his school's budget problems he is playing into the hands of the Government.

If all headteachers were willing and able to take such action then the Government would claim that there was no problem with funding and that no teachers had lost their jobs.

My own school's situation is that there is a projected deficit of more than pound;200,000. So far I have refused to take any action to recover this debt because I do not see it as part of my function to worsen the educational experience of the children at this school in order to solve the problem created by the Government's incompetence.

I am told by my local education authority that part of the problem is "incremental drift" caused by the consolidation of the pay spine and performance payments. I had not realised that performance payments were to be funded by making colleagues redundant. I have been told that I cannot just "put my head in the sand and hope the problem will go away". Why not? I am simply following the lead given by Charles Clarke and his colleagues at the Department for Education and Skills.

F Fay Headteacher De Lisle Catholic school Loughborough Leicestershire

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