Sheffield school’s leaking roof ‘may never be repaired’

Dobcroft Infant School
Dobcroft Infant School
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A Yorkshire headteacher has warned her school’s leaking roof may never be repaired and more staff may have to be cut if proposed changes to the way schools are funded come into play.

Cathy Rowland, headteacher of Dobcroft Infant School, in Sheffield, has written to parents warning them that the school faces a four per cent budget cut under the Government’s funding proposals.

The school has already had to reduce the hours of a number of teaching assistants from September and she warned there may have to be further staff cuts which will “inevitably impact” on children’s education.

She has called on parents to lobby their local MPs and write to ministers against the proposals.

Mrs Rowland told The Yorkshire Post: “While I welcome the shift towards a fairer formula, the bottom line is there is not enough money to be divided equally across all schools in England.

“The Government has divided the pie better, but the pie isn’t big enough.”

Mrs Rowland said her school faces a four per cent cut in its budget by 2019-20, which will mean it has lost 13 per cent in funding between 2013-19.

Warning of “a bleak financial future”, she wrote in her letter to parents: “Over time, there will be fewer leaders to support staff, children and families, fewer books, IT resources and vastly reduced capacity to ensure that all children’s needs are met. This is all while we are enduring a funding freeze with increased costs for wages, pensions and inflation.

“The future is potentially a bleak choice between making significant reductions in staff or an untenable deficit.”

Following frequent leaks from the roof, which has seen buckets placed around the school, a survey has advised that ‘patch repairs’ are no longer a viable option and it is now unlikely the roof will ever be replaced.

Mrs Rowland said: “We receive around £7,000 per year in our budget for capital projects however the quote to replace the roof is £90,000.”

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