PTA UK speaks to BBC Radio 5 Live about school funding

22/03/17

We were invited to join the conversation about school funding on BBC Radio 5 Live's Breakfast show. This gave us the opportunity to raise the importance of parents' contributions to education and their part in the wider funding story.

Our Executive Director Emma Williams represented our views. 

Take a listen on BBC iPlayer. The discussion starts at 14:43. 

If you're not able to listen back to the programme, we've picked out a few key quotations from our Executive Director. 

"What we've seen over the last five years is a huge increase in the ask upon our parents. So our PTAs already plough about £100 million pounds a year into schools through fundraising and the equivalent of another £20 million at least through volunteering. But our parents and PTAs are telling us that they're increasingly being asked to fund essentials such as books, IT equipment, even in some cases teaching assistants, rather than nice to have items. And that's a real shift from where we were certainly ten years ago, where PTAs were much more likely to fund equipment and extras for children. Also, as the results of our parents insight survey show, three-quarters of parents are now saying that their costs have increased in the last couple of years in terms of what they're having to provide for schools. What we're really concerned about is that parents are feeling they're at the limit of what they can actually contribute - so who is going to fund this gap?"

"School funding is something that we're very concerned about. We as an organisation are promoting schools and government to be much more open and transparent with parents generally, and bring them in much earlier to the conversations before crisis point. Parents generally want to help and be supportive of their children’s school. Not being brought in earlier in the conversation can be incredibly damaging. As all headteachers know, the strength of the relationship between parents and schools affects children's attainment."

Read our full statement on PTA UK's position on school funding in England