Sheffield Green Party Chair, Peter Garbutt, has written to Cllr Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member responsible for Education, to seek reassurance that schools in Sheffield will not fall prey to the financial mismanagement that two Rotherham schools have suffered from. Swinton Community School teachers have been on strike this week due to threatened job cuts.
Peter, a teacher, comments :
“I’m very concerned that the huge deficits run up at Rawmarsh and Swinton schools were not dealt with earlier. Having to deal with them at so late a stage puts the education of our children at risk, as well as the jobs of people working in the school. Neither the children nor the teachers and support workers had anything to do with causing the deficit, but in true Labour/LibDem/Tory style, they are usually the ones whose jobs are in the firing line. It is only due to the concerted efforts of the staff and parents, actively supported by the NUT, that this was avoided at Rawmarsh Scholl previously.”
He added; “We all need reassurances that systems are in place in Sheffield which will address any deficits at an early stage, and which will not put the education of our children and the jobs of teachers and support workers in our schools at risk.” ENDS
1 – The Swinton school finance and strike story was reported at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-17738197
2 – The letter to Cllr Drayton reads :
Dear Cllr Drayton
I am writing to you in my capacity as Chair of Sheffield Green Party in order to seek reassurances about the financial management in our schools.
Following the recent announcement in Rotherham about the difficulties at Swinton school, which seem to follow a pattern very familiar to teachers and parents at Rawmarsh school last year, we are asking for detailed responses to the following questions :
- Are there currently any schools in Sheffield running a deficit? If so, are any of them outside the licensed deficit arrangement agreed with the council?
- Are schools audited annually by professional auditors? The situation in Swinton seems to indicate that there was no annual audit, but the regulations appear to state that there should be.
- Can you give assurances that, if any Sheffield school were to be unfortunate enough to have such a large deficit, all sections of the community involved with the school would be party to decisions about how to address the problem, and that the council would not seek to impose a “solution” without the full agreement of all of them?
Given the importance of education for our young people and for society as a whole, I trust you will give these questions the attention they require. I look forward to your response in due course.
Promoted by Eamonn Ward, 73 Eskdale Rd, Sheffield, S6 1Sl on behalf of Sheffield Green Party