Head assumes caretaker and IT technician role because school can’t afford to hire

CREDIT: This story was first seen in iNews

A primary school headteacher is working as his school’s IT technician and caretaker because he cannot afford to replace departing staff, iNews reports.

Iain Linsdell, headteacher of Poplar Street Primary School, in Tameside, Greater Manchester, told a summit meeting on Friday it had become a ‘sick joke’ he knows more about his school’s drainage than he does about pupils’ progress.

“I couldn’t replace the technician because I simply can’t afford it anymore. I’ve also taken on some of the caretaker duties when our most recent caretaker retired,” he told TES afterwards.

“It was more straightforward for me to support one of my cleaning staff in helping with the caretaking duties and take on some of those repair and maintenance jobs myself.”

He was speaking at the North West Education Summit, which was organised to give headteachers an opportunity to talk about funding pressures.

Larger classes Clem Coady, the headteacher of Stoneraise School in Cumbria, said class sizes at his school were growing because of stretched budgets.

“We have had to let class sizes increase because of staff cuts,” he told the summit.

“My daughter is in a class of 34. I know she would receive a better education in a smaller class but, unfortunately, we simply cannot afford to do this.”

“Staffing costs now represent 95% of my budget and I don’t know what we are going to do next.”

Mr Coady, who has spoken to i previously about having to take on extra jobs at his school because of funding pressures, also revealed he is now doing maintenance work at the school.

A Year 9 pupil from a school in the North West described having to wait to make her GCSE choices while her school decided whether or not it would have the funds to run the courses.

NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said: “When you hear, as we have today, that a Year 9 pupil doesn’t know yet whether she will be able to take the subjects she has chosen for GCSE because the school’s budget could mean they won’t be able to run these courses then you know this crisis is real, no matter what the government says about increasing school funding.”

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He added: “The good thing about an event like this is that it is authentic. This is not just us lobbying from the centre. “You know when you hear from members directly that they are hurting because of funding cuts.”

Real terms cuts Schools across the North West will see a real terms funding cut of £192m by 2020, according to the School Cuts website.

The Department for Education said: “There are no cuts in funding and over the next two years every school will attract an increase in funding through our fairer formula.

“By 2020, core school funding will rise to a record £43.5bn – the highest ever and 50% more per pupil in real terms than in 2000.”

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