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Headteachers across county write to parents with ‘grave concerns’ about funding cuts

22 May 2024 4 minute read
Students in a lesson at school. Picture by Ben Birchall / PA Wire.

Stephen Price

All parents and carers of primary school children across an entire Welsh county have received a letter from headteachers, warning of their ‘grave concerns’ about the effects of unprecedented financial cuts to school budgets.

The letter, received by parents across Monmouthshire today (22 May) details the results of cuts that headteachers expect to see in their schools, ranging from larger class sizes and fewer staff members to building disrepair and concerns over pupil safety.

Monmouthshire Association of Primary School Headteachers’ letter to all parents and carers across the local authority is a first in the organisation’s history, with headteachers sharing their “grave concerns about the continuing inadequate level of funding” received.


The headteachers write: “Many of you will already know that Monmouthshire schools have faced real terms cuts to their school budgets for a number of years due to the unprecedented financial climate that we find ourselves in. This dire financial outlook is being mirrored in many schools across Wales.

“As the headteachers of Monmouthshire’s 30 primary schools, we are particularly worried this year as we are being asked to find ‘efficiency savings’ which most schools are now simply unable to make.

“This is not because we are reluctant to take difficult decisions but because we feel any further cuts in 2024/25 and beyond will have a long-term, negative impact on the quality of education that we are able to provide. School leaders feel that there are very few or no further savings that can be identified.

“The situation is now critical in nearly all schools.”

Most schools in Monmouthshire have been forced to make year-on-year cuts, reducing their staffing structures and resources around their budgets. The latest information from primary schools shows nearly all having to set a deficit budget for the current year with a collective shortfall of over £1 million.

The letter continues: “Due to the above pressures, we will be forced to make difficult decisions in 24/25; we think it’s very important that parents and carers understand the impact of these ‘difficult decisions’ on their child’s school and education.”


Where schools are able to identify savings (which some say they simply cannot), this may result in:

  • Larger class sizes.
  • Reduction or removal of interventions for our most vulnerable children such as wellbeing and behaviour support.
  • Reduction of family engagement opportunities and support.
  • Reduced or removed capacity to provide catch-up support for literacy and numeracy.
  • Concerns about our ability to meet the ever-increasing demand for specialist Additional Learning Needs provision for individual children.
  • Concerns over the ability to run schools safely and manage challenging behaviour.
  • School buildings and equipment falling further into disrepair and becoming outdated.
  • Fewer trips and after school activities that have previously been subsidised or offered free to pupils.
  • Reduced ability to meet the expectations of national policies around curriculum development, professional learning and school improvement.
  • Significant impact on the wellbeing of hardworking and committed staff and leaders.
  • Recruitment and retention of all staff.
  • Fewer support staff and leaders.

The headteachers stress that their biggest concerns are for the health, safety and wellbeing of children and staff.

In a call to action for parents and carers, the letter states: “The decisions made by Monmouthshire County Council, the Welsh Government and beyond will have a direct effect on your child’s school and the funding of every school in the county.

“If our letter concerns you, we ask you to apply political pressure at a local level (Monmouthshire County Council) and national level (your Senedd representative) to support the education of Monmouthshire children.”

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Adrian Bamford
Adrian Bamford
24 days ago

Maybe they should open by explaining to those parents why the majority of Welsh schools are teaching the gender identity belief system – which has no grounding in science, as if it is fact, and why most are prepared to ‘socially transition’ pupils without telling their parents.

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