Budget reductions in the funding of all Wellington’s schools are made clear in figures published by www.schoolcuts.org.uk.
Wellesley Park Primary School will have experienced a loss of £31,354 between 2015 and 2020 which amounts to -£83 per pupil. At the same time St John’s Church of England Primary School’s budget has been reduced by £6996 – £41 per pupil; Rockwell Green Primary School’s budget has reduced by £23,845 – £122 per pupil and Beech Grove has lost £2,185 – £7 per pupil. Court Fields School has had its income reduced by £14,040 – £19 per pupil – since 2015. Each of the local schools has seen an increase in class size over the same period.
Despite the reduction in their budgets all four of the town’s primary schools were graded as ‘Good’ in their last Ofsted inspections.
Earlier this year Somerset County Council announced that the county’s schools will receive a total budget of £282.094m based on the Department for Education’s Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) formula for the 2018/2019 year. This represents a rise of 3.5 per cent from last year’s allocation of £272.643m.
When funding for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), early years provision (such as pre-schools and nurseries) or central services provided directly by the council are taken into account, the total funding for this year rises to £366.050m.
However, funding for children in schools in Taunton Deane is the lowest of the five Somerset County Council districts. Pupils in primary and secondary schools will receive £4,148.01 whilst those in West Somerset are each allocated £5,052.90. Pupils in Exford Church of England First School in Minehead will receive £8,600 for each of its 22 pupils.
School Cuts is a national campaign calling on Parliament to take immediate action to protect children’s education and stop funding cuts.
Information can be found on www.schoolcuts.org.uk.
On Friday 28 September, over 1,000 Headteachers from across the country are taking direct action. They will make the journey to London to deliver a letter to the chancellor, Philip Hammond, protesting about cuts to budgets which affect all pupils – including the most vulnerable – and have resulted in larger classes, staff redundancies and erosion of subject choice.