School funding top concern for leaders in Devon

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 13:04

At a roundtable last night, in which school leaders from across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay met to discuss the top concerns in education with local MPs, a poll of attendees revealed that the vast majority were most concerned about school funding – followed by mental health in schools.

The event, which took place via Zoom, was chaired by local Exmouth primary school head teacher Dr Paul Gosling and supported by school leaders’ union NAHT. Local MPs Neil Parish (Conservative) and Luke Pollard (Labour) joined the group to hear about the big issues facing schools.

School funding was the biggest worry for leaders, with already tight budgets impacted by the Covid pandemic. Schools have been hit with a double whammy over the last year, having to spend large sums on PPE and making schools Covid safe, while at the same time losing out on lettings income they would usually rely on. These costs have not been fully reimbursed by government. Mental health in schools was also a major concern, as well as Ofsted.

Dr Gosling, head of Exeter Road Community Primary School in Exmouth, said: “The event last night was an excellent opportunity for school leaders to come together to support each other and share their concerns, as well as to raise them with MPs as we head towards local elections. Education should be a priority for all political parties and we are pleased that our local representatives attended to better understand the reality of the situation facing schools.”