Stoke & Staffordshire

Parents' cash sought to help plug £300k gap

St Joseph's College
Image caption St Joseph's College said like all schools nationally it was "under increasing financial pressure"

Parents at a state school have been invited to pay a fee every term to help plug a near £300,000 gap in funding.

St Joseph's College in Stoke-on-Trent said if every parent paid the optional £60 per term per child, it would have an additional £196,000.

In a statement, it said like all schools nationally it was "under increasing financial pressure".

The government said it had "protected the core schools budget in real terms since 2010".

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In a letter to parents, the school in Trent Vale for 11 to 18-year-olds, said it was "facing cuts next year of £289,000 in addition to the more than £1m that has been cut" over the previous five years.

It said that meant it had had "£200 funding cut per pupil per year since 2013 with another £286 per pupil cut from this year's budget".

In a statement, the school said whilst it could meet its "core" commitments, the provision of "the outstanding opportunities that we strive to offer has been supported by parents for the last 20 years via a voluntary payment to the school fund".

It added: "We have recently reminded parents, as we do annually, of the benefits to their children of supporting the school in this way."

The government said school funding was "at its highest level on record at almost £41bn in 2017-18" and that was set to rise, as pupil numbers increase, to £42bn by 2019/20.

It said: "We recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to provide support to help them use their funding in cost effective ways and make efficiencies.

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