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We must continue fight for fair deal
HEADTEACHERS have given a cautious welcome to news Worcestershire County Council will fight for a fairer deal for schools.
Debbie Mitchell, headteacher at Clifton-upon-Teme Primary School, welcomed news that the council will lobby the Government in a bid to change a new funding formula which could leave small, rural schools facing deep funding cuts.
She said: “As a whole school, we were very concerned indeed when we saw the proposals. We have been writing letters to various MPs and council officials to present the concerns we share as a group of heads and governors.
“We are pleased to know they have listened to us. We received an e-mail indicating that the Government appreciates there are issues with the criteria.
“But we have to continue fighting. We can’t sit back and say everything is fine.
“We have to pursue this. Small primary schools are more expensive to run but they have such a tremendous role in the community and losing them would be devastating.
“When I came to Clifton it was initially like a retirement village. Then the early years nursery came and the children’s centre, and people started moving here with their children.
“Everything started to flourish. It’s early days, but things are looking brighter than last week.”
Dr Tony Evans, headteacher at Prince Henry’s High School, has been in touch with fellow Vale schools about the changes – which will particularly impact upon rural primaries feeding into the town’s two high schools.
He has also held talks with Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff.
He said: “The Evesham area will be affected but obviously there’s a funding guarantee and capping so we won’t be too badly affected for the next couple of years. It’s the result of unintended consequences.
“Our concerns are with Worcestershire being poorly funding, if the proposals were to come to fruition, it would have a knock-on effect that would be quite detrimental, particularly in Evesham.
“It’s positive the cabinet are lobbying the Govern-ment for such a change.
“It’s important money isn’t taken away from the people who need it.”