blank
Connect with us

Education

School leaders union urges Welsh Government to reconsider removal of Small and Rural Schools Fund

Published

on

School leaders’ union, NAHT Cymru have urged the Welsh Government to reconsider the removal of grant funding for small and rural schools in Wales.

While introduced initially to promote innovation and support greater school to school working, the union say the fund has become essential in keeping these schools open.

Advertisement

Laura Doel, Director for NAHT Cymru, says this will be a hammer blow for small and rural communities. “Small schools are at the heart of every locality, be it a village, town and city. But as one of the groups hit hardest by budget cuts, for thousands of small schools the future remains uncertain.”

As a sign of how important this money has become to small schools, NAHT Cymru has highlighted how heads have been forced to use funds to provide essential services.

While covering for cleaners, one school leader has used the grant to reduce her teaching commitment by half, to concentrate on the 35% of students at her school who have Additional Learning Needs (ALN). As well as covering staff absences since September 2021, she has also been a teaching school leader, lunchtime supervisor as well covering for the cleaner, supporting the breakfast club and after school club.

Another school leader used the fund to extend the hours of a part-time teacher by a day to allow her to prepare a group of local schools for ALN transformation. As well as covering for two members of staff suffering from long Covid, the caretaker and the cleaner, she says the fund has provided the only way for the group of schools to collaborate at all.

Ms Doel has urged the Welsh Government to look at how it supports schools in similar positions.

Advertisement

“This is a terrible state of affairs when you think about how vital these schools are. In many places, the school is the last public service left standing in their community. The post office, the police station, the library, the community centre have all gone. We cannot afford to allow the school to be next. These schools may be small, but their loss would be incalculable.

“All schools have suffered as a result of budget cuts, but small schools have been hit particularly hard. These schools play a vital role in their communities and they must be protected. Clearly, current funding arrangements are not working for these schools.”

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Swansea Bay News