Should parents have to pay fees – for a state school education?
ack in September, Nic Fearon-Low received a letter from the head of his daughter’s school, Coombe Hill juniors in Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, suggesting a voluntary parental contribution of £60 a year for school funds. He was, he says, “a bit put out”. Two months later another letter arrived, signed by a number of local heads, warning of a dire funding shortfall if the government’s plan for a new national funding formula, taking money from some areas and giving more to others, goes ahead in its current form.
At this point, Fearon-Low says, “I was incensed” – not at the headteachers, but at the crisis they face. “They have to come to us to meet core funding. That any government can put them in that position is awful.” He launched a petition asking the education secretary, Justine Greening, to address headteachers’ concerns.