Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire school shelves £40 textbook charge plan

Letter from Hanley Castle High School asking parents for voluntary donations
Image caption Parents were asked to pay £40 towards new text books

A school has shelved plans asking parents for £40 towards the cost of textbooks because it now hopes to get more government funding.

Lindsey Cooke, head teacher of Hanley Castle High School in Worcestershire, wrote to families in June asking for the voluntary donation.

However, Mrs Cooke said the plan was on hold as more cash had been promised.

The Department for Education (DfE) said its new funding formula would mean schools would "not lose out".

Mrs Cooke's letter to parents said the school faced losing teachers or increasing class sizes if it did not receive more income.

She said since 2013/14 income had fallen by £90,000 a year, adding: "We are really sorry to be asking parents for this help."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The school would "make do" until the funding is confirmed, Mrs Cooke said

However, she now says the government's funding announcement in July has led her to put the scheme on hold.

"As the contribution was designed to cover the gap between what we needed and what the government was going to pay us, we thought we would give the government an opportunity to deliver on its promise of extra cash for schools," she said.

'Make do'

She said many parents had volunteered to pay the donation.

"Overall, the response was very supportive," she said.

"None of [the parents] wanted to pay the extra money - they pay enough tax as it is. But all parents want the best thing for their children."

She said the school would find out in March how much funding it was getting from the government and would "make do" until then.

"If additional funding is forthcoming, we will be ok," she said.

"If not, it means we will have to ask our parents for that voluntary contribution again.

"But I think it's fair to give the government a chance to deliver a promise it has made very publicly."

The DfE said: "Under our new funding formula, schools will not lose out."

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