School headteacher writes to parents over “deep and damaging” future budget cuts

A headteacher has written to parents urging them to challenge politicians about their plans to combat “deep and damaging” cuts, warning he faces laying off staff and cutting the curriculum.

John Kerr, head of Enfield Grammar School, in north London, raised concerns about looming hikes in national insurance, pension contributions and teacher pay.

He said the only way the school can make the savings needed would be to get rid of jobs and cut the curriculum – with subjects including music and art already being considered.

Mr Kerr said the academy faces having to make £1 million of savings over the next three years, the World at One radio show reported today.

The letter was sent home with pupils on Wednesday. It reportedly said schools are facing cuts on a magnitude which has never seen before.

“It will have detrimental and severe consequences for students’ learning and their futures,” it read.

Concerns were raised that no political party had sufficiently addressed the issue during the election campaign.

Speaking on the show, Mr Kerr said he feels very strongly that the educational issues he cares about are not being properly addressed, adding: “Parents have a right to know.”

It was reported other secondary heads in the area were warned off sending similar letters amid concerns they could breach electoral rules.

Secondary headteachers in West Sussex have also written an open letter to the local paper regarding their funding concerns.

It is the fourth worst funded authority in the country. The letter reads: “The problem becomes potentially catastrophic over the next two years as additional costs are passed to schools with no increases in budget.

“A school of 1,000 students will be expected to reduce costs by around £250,000 over the next two years.

“When our schools are funded so poorly this can only be done by reducing staffing and so increasing class sizes.”