Priti Patel MP hosts discussion with Essex based academy trusts on local schools’ pressures
Witham MP, Priti Patel held a roundtable discussion on Friday 7th October 2022 with representatives of a number of Essex based academy trusts to discuss the range of financial pressures they are facing with their schools.
Priti Patel MP met with Ms Caroline Derbyshire, Chief Executive of the Saffron Academy Trust, Dr Nicholas Rudman, Head Teacher at Maltese Road Primary School and Neil Stotter, Headteacher at Purleigh Community Primary School, both of Eveleigh LINK Academy Trust and, Bruce Doy, Chair of Attain Academy Partnership Trust along with Headteacher Ms Sherry Zand and Deputy Headteacher Mark Slater of Maltings Academy and James Saunders Headteacher of Honywood Community Science School. They discussed the financial deficits the academies and trusts are facing due to rising energy costs and the recent 8.9% uplift to starting teachers’ salaries outside London, the 5% uplift for experienced teachers and a further uplift of between 5% and 8% (depending on experience) along the rest of the main pay range, all of which comprise the unfunded pay awards announced by the Government.
The discussion covered specific concerns raised by each school relating to their ability to deliver a core service from existing school budgets for this academic year and beyond.
Priti Patel MP said ‘I convened this meeting following a number of concerning representations I have received in recent months from local academy trusts. I want to ensure that our local schools have all the support required to provide the essential support and care for pupils alongside the outstanding education they bring to Witham schools. I have recently pressed the issue of deficits in school budgets due to the current economic conditions with the new Secretary of State for the Department for Education and I am pressing for essential meetings with representatives of the Government and Essex based Academy Trusts.
“As the Covid pandemic demonstrated, our schools are the heart and soul of our communities and provide so much support to local pupils, covering their personal development, life skills, wellbeing and safeguarding in addition to an outstanding education. I will work with all aspects of Government to ensure collectively we can achieve the best possible outcomes for local pupils and our schools.”