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School funding appeal

Leicestershire Secondary Head teachers have recently issued a letter to parents asking for support in making education a political priority.
I have had the honour of serving communities in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire in my career and value the links with colleagues in these three great counties.
Whilst the same formal network of educational leaders may not exist in Nottinghamshire, this message is just as important in our own county and so I share my own version below.

To all parents in our community.

I am writing to you to seek your support in making education a political priority. As a head teacher, I am here to serve our community and be politically neutral within my work. However, I feel I must draw attention to the crisis we face in education.

This year, this month, this week, I work within a system which needs a serious and immediate rethink and a clear improvement journey into the future. There are so many issues which are not currently being addressed and need a strong policy response if our young people are to get the opportunity to create their own positive futures.

Therefore, I need your help to be asking our local political candidates questions about:

• the relentless recruitment and retention crisis for teachers and support staff-great schools are run on the greatness of their staff.

• the ongoing drop in pupil attendance - students will not do well if they are not attending but many need support to do so.

• the lack of funding for SEND-current funding provision is significantly short of what is needed.

• the budget deficits we face as we try to manage students with more complex needs

• the mental health crisis in young people with long waiting lists for help.

• the reduction and underfunding of external agencies to support our most vulnerable students.

Despite all this turmoil, leaders are working relentlessly to ensure every student has their chance to be successful in school.

As a head teacher I feel that education is not far enough up the list of political priorities as we approach an election year. I want to rally our parents and community and push for positive educational change together. I would really appreciate your support for this aim through asking questions of your local MP, to every person who arrives on your doorstep canvassing votes and within any opportunity you have to raise the profile of the chronic funding crisis we are experiencing in education. Students only get one chance at education, we owe it to them to make sure that their chance is top of everyone's agenda.

Thank you for your support.

David Phillips
Head teacher
Chilwell School

**PLEASE NOTE** Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and quality purposes.