A FORDINGBRIDGE head teacher is calling for a fairer funding deal for schools in Hampshire.

David Pover, head teacher of The Burgate School and Sixth Form, joined head teachers from across the country for a rally in London’s Parliament Square on Friday to highlight the funding difficulties that schools face. The rally was part of the Worth Less? campaign.

He said: “Despite a national funding formula for schools, Hampshire schools are the second lowest funded in England. This is something I have been keenly contesting for some time, along with Hampshire head teachers and colleagues from similarly poorly funded counties.

“Our children deserve a world class education – we have excellent teachers and we have students who are keen to learn, but we are struggling to find the resources to deliver it. The barrel has been scraped and the bottom is about to fall out.”

The head teachers were calling on the government to use the upcoming Autumn Statement to invest in schools and education.

Mr Pover said: “What Hampshire schools want, I believe, is funding that is genuinely fair (compared to the average for England) and that as much as is reasonably possible is directly devolved to schools.”

He said college funding had been “particularly hard hit” and in 2013 the sixth form received about £4,900 per student in income with the figure falling to £4,075 in 2018. This, he said, was a loss of income of more than £200,000 per annum

“Whilst it is true that the government has allocated more money to total school funding, it is a fact that pupil numbers have grown faster than funding, thereby reducing the amount per pupil. In real terms there has been a cut of eight per cent in income over the last eight years,” said Mr Pover. “What I want is fairness first of all, let’s share the funding we have more equitably. This isn’t happening quickly enough and I’m worried that the promises made under the National Funding Formula will not be delivered. At the same time we should be continuing to ask questions about the total amount of spending on education."