Islington Headteachers’ Public Statement
A public statement by Headteachers in the London Borough of Islington.
For many years, head teachers, school staff, governors and the education authority have worked tirelessly together to create high-quality provision across the borough which has resulted in excellent outcomes for children in Islington.
An example of this is that in the last decade, the increase in the proportion of children reaching the expected standard for the core subjects at KS2 means that Islington (which is currently the 2nd most deprived borough in the country*) has gone from being 122nd out of 150 Local Authorities to currently being 39th, which puts Islington in the 29th percentile.
We are writing to express our deep concerns that continued inadequate funding of schools will mean that we will not be able to sustain these successes. Instead, we strongly believe that these cuts will result in poorer outcomes for our children, and the same applies for schools across the country.
Unfunded pay-rises, increased pensions and National Insurance contributions have already placed a significant strain on school budgets which have resulted in ‘educational efficiencies’ being made in schools across the country.
The National Audit Office believes that without additional funding, the Islington family of schools will be forced to make cuts equivalent to approximately £15million by 2019/ 2020. That is a reduction of £711 per pupil and a loss of 400 teachers across our Islington schools alone.
This will put our children’s education at risk. We need investment, not further cuts.
What the Government states:
1. The National Funding Formula will make the system fairer.
2. That schools’ funding is now at a record level – more than £40bn this year
3. There is significant scope for schools to make further efficiencies (£3 billion by 2020)
What Headteachers state:
1) The National Funding Formula will simply distribute inadequate funding in a different way
2) School funding is insufficient – there are more pupils than ever before and schools across Islington have already made substantial cuts to provision
3) There is no more scope for efficiencies without this having a significant and detrimental impact on children’s outcomes.
What will continued underfunding and further cuts mean for your children?
Lower standards and not achieving their full potential
Less additional support for children who need it
Fewer opportunities for children to be involved in enrichment activities (trips, extended schools, extra-curricular, therapeutic support for children’s wellbeing and mental health, etc.)
Less choice in school subjects
Larger class sizes
We have now introduced a times table challenge at Robert Blair.
Each week, children will be challenged in school to answer as many times tables questions as possible in a given time. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded at our Friday assembly to celebrate pupils’ achievements.
Go to our Maths Zone page to see who received a medal!
During Assembly this week we discussed the variety of Faiths represented in our school. We have asked the children to complete an ‘Interfaith Artwork’ as a homework project for a school display. Selected work will be included in the Islington 2016-2017 interfaith calendar.
The theme for all works of art will be “Different Faiths Living and Working Together.” Please support your child to complete a piece of art with this theme for homework.
The picture size can be no greater than A3. Please use paints, coloured pens, markers, collage, print or material (no chalk or pencil).
Your submission should be given to your teacher by Monday 8th February.
We are very much looking forward to seeing your artwork!
We are now trialling the starting of each day with a ‘Soft Start’. This means when your child arrives at school they will be able to go straight to class where they will have the opportunity to organise themselves for the day and get ready for their learning. They will have time to put their bags and coats away independently, organise their book bags, homework or equipment and settle themselves to a quiet activity ready for registration. Research has shown that this approach has a positive impact on childrens readiness for learning at the start of the school day.
Teachers and members of the leadership team will be available to support your child to move to class independently and answer
any questions or queries you may have.
Children form years 1 to 6 will be able to move straight to class when they arrive at school. Reception children will be able to go
into class at 8.50am and Nursery children at 9am. For children in Nursery we ask that parents stay and support their child to
settle into class for the first 10 minutes of the day.
Please take the time to share your thoughts and feedback about this new initiative with the leadership and management team
who will be in the playground and in and around the school entrances at the start of each day.
One of our donors, Level 3 communication, came today to visit the school and discover our solar panels. We could not have succeed in our project without them, so we would like to thanks them once more for their donation.
We are also quite excited to carry on developing links with them and discover the fantastic work they are doing in their company…
With Christmas approaching and our Peter Pan’s performance, Robert Blair is fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
We raise money so that Great Ormond Street Hospital can provide world-class care for its young patients and their families, and to pioneer new treatments and cures for childhood illnesses.
If you wish to give, please visit this link: Justgiving page.