Charters School warns of increased class sizes due to financial pressures

David Lee

Reporter:

David Lee

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One of the borough’s leading secondary schools has told parents to expect increased class sizes and less subject availability due to financial pressures.

A letter was sent to parents at Sunningdale’s Charters School on Monday about the planned changes.

Co-headteachers Martyn Parker and Richard Pilgrim said that due to a projected budget loss for 2018/19, the school has set a target of reducing its staff by 10 teachers by September 2018.

The letter stated: “These are hard decisions that we would prefer not to have faced but, like so many other schools, we have had to make them in order to make a viable school.”

Mr Parker told the Express that the school has not made any redundancies to meet its staffing target, but has not replaced teachers who have left the school.

Subjects in Key Stages 4 and 5 considered to be ‘uneconomic’ have also been withdrawn while the school has cut back on its teaching assistants and pastoral support services.

The financial pressure has been the result of increased costs to employers’ national insurance and pension contributions, unfunded pay rises and the removal of traditional grants from central government, the school said.

Mr Parker added: “I know the government say they are putting in more money than ever but that’s because we have more students.

“They have increased the costs of the school, so in reality we have less money.

“Charters is a well run school and we’ve been recognized by the Department for Education as a school that offers outstanding value for money so we’re managing the situation.

“A lot of schools are in worse positions than us and they’ve had to chop some really important subjects.”

Charters has about 1,650 pupils and has submitted a planning application to the Royal Borough to build two science laboratories and 11 classrooms to replace its ageing maths facility.

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