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Issue #1635      April 16, 2014

Parents help schools to pay for books

Tory mismanagement of England’s state schools has forced parents to chip-in cash for books and stationery, teachers’ union ATL has revealed.

A survey of over 500 union members found a quarter are having to ask parents to help buy books as Education Secretary Michael Gove lavishes taxpayer money on his academies and free schools pet projects.

And a shocking 13 percent admitted their school has had to ask parents for money towards the cost of stationery like pens and paper. A primary teacher at a state school in Gateshead said: “We are having to ask for donations of resources such as scrap paper, unwanted toys as well as having school fairs to raise money.”

Ninety percent said their school or college asks for contributions towards school trips related to the curriculum, and 13 percent said contributions were requested for musical equipment used in lessons.

Over 80 percent of staff said their school or college makes up the difference if a parent or carer cannot pay towards school trips that are related to the curriculum.

But only 30 percent said the same for the purchase of text or revision books, and 25 percent said they make up the difference for school stationery themselves.

ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: “With budgets being squeezed now, more than ever, schools and colleges are having to rely on parents or carers to help pay for resources and activities that support the curriculum.”

Morning Star

Next article – The eviction of the Last of the River People

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