SMS has always recognised that the proposed lower-primary change is woefully underfunded. Our position has always been that this has not been properly costed, that estimates by others with knowledge of educational buildings projects are getting on for double the highest estimate from the Borough, and that council taxes will have to rise or services will be cut.
Today in the Times & Citizen, Michael Headley reveals that the source of any borrowing to fund the lower-primary change will not be the overall council budget.
Phew. That’s alright then. No rise in council tax and no services cut.
Ah…not quite. The money has to come from somewhere. And that somewhere is the Dedicated Schools Grant, which is the money allocated to pay for everything that schools provide – teachers, support staff, resources – you know, the things that make a school run properly.
Anyway, this brilliant plan means that if the Borough’s estimate of £30M borrowing is correct, then this equates to a 2% cut in funding for the overall budget. Potentially for 25 years. If they’ve got their sums right.
And if they haven’t got their sums right, then schools will lose even more money potentially…because the financial principle has now been established.
Every lower school should look at this and decide how they are going to save this money, because if they can’t, then why are any of them supporting this damaging proposal?