Sussex

Crowborough primary school in toilet rolls plea

Rosie Wegeland
Image caption Parent Rosie Wegeland said it was the first time she had been asked to donate toilet rolls

A cash-strapped primary school has felt forced to ask pupils' parents to donate toilet rolls and stationery.

St John's Primary, in Sussex, is holding a non-school uniform day but instead of donating to charity, pupils were asked to bring in essential items.

The chair of the Crowborough school's governors, said it wanted to highlight the "massive financial crisis" all schools face under budget cuts.

The Department for Education (DoE) has admitted funding models are "unfair".

At a meeting later, parents will be told how cuts would affect the school.

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Head teacher Laura Cooper said it was important parents were aware of "the real financial pressures facing the school".

In a letter on the non-uniform day, she said "we would like the children to bring in various 'essential' items such as stationery (e.g. glue sticks, pencils, Blu Tack, boxes of tissues, sellotape, etc) and of course loo rolls".

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Media captionCrowborough pupils bring in toilet rolls to fund lessons

The Parents' Forum meeting later would focus on "safeguarding the future of our school", she added.

Rosie Wegeland, who has four children at the school, said the letter had "really surprised" her.

"This is the first time in seven years that they are asking for something else to be given to the school," she said.

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Image caption The head teacher of St John's Primary School said it was facing "real financial pressures"

In a separate letter earlier this month, head teachers from across East Sussex urged parents to lobby their local MPs and the education secretary "to protest about the effects of funding cuts in schools".

"The government claims that funding for schools has remained the same, but they do not mention that all schools face rising costs due to inflation and other extra charges recently introduced by the government," they said.

"According to the National Audit Office, this will equate to £3 billion less between 2019 and 2020."

In a statement, the DoE agreed the current system for distributing funding across the country was "unfair, opaque and outdated".

It had been consulting schools, governors, local authorities and parents "on the need for a fairer funding formula", it added.

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