Headteacher to scrap trips and swimming lessons to fund staff payrise

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According to headteachers, schools may have to scrap extra-curricular activities to save enough money to pay staff. School managers claim that trips and clubs would be the first to go if they cut budgets, reports The BBC.

One head teacher says his school will find itself in significant debt as a result of this year’s staff pay rises.

Simon Kidwell, the headteacher of Hartford Manor Primary School and Nursery in Northwich, Cheshire, predicts the school will soon be £80,000 in debt.

Teacher absences due to Covid led to a £30,000 rise in supply-teacher costs at his school last year.

He is considering cutting back on swimming lessons and school trips to London and the Lake District, reports Cheshire Live.

Mr Kidwell said: “We’ll look at trimming all that extra fat from the budget but, ultimately, £80,000 can’t be stripped out of the school budget, because things are very tight.

“So we may have to be looking at… reducing some of the support staff. We may be looking at restructuring some of the teaching staff as well, ultimately, if we can’t get some help from the government with funding the pay rise.”

It is a concern being echoed by headteachers all around the country.

Headteacher Jayne Bartlett in Birmingham said rising coach costs mean trips may not go ahead this year, while in North Yorkshire, staff at East Whitby Primary Academy are discussing whether the Christmas carol service can go ahead because of the cost of buses.

The school is also reviewing planned upgrades to one of its playgrounds.

Dan Morrow, the head of Dartmoor Multi-Academy Trust, which is made up of about 17 schools in Devon, is considering cutting school trips and reducing hours after-school clubs run – things he described as part of “the rich tapestry of education”.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the inflationary pressures facing schools and know that rising costs will impact schools differently.”

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