Head teacher talks of cleaning loos amid funds shortfall

Siobhan Lowe, head of Tolworth Girls' School spoke of the embarrassment of not being able to fund support for her pupils.

The head teacher said she has had to scrub the toilets, clean the school and work in the canteen because of school funding shortages on schools.

She says she has already sold off land, cut subjects and a deputy head post to stay afloat, as budgets tightened.

It comes as thousands of heads have highlighted worsening funding gaps.

An education department spokesman said they had negotiated an extra £750m for schools and was "putting a strong case to the Treasury ahead of the next spending review".

But Ms Lowe told BBC Radio 4's Today programme she had been forced to make a "phenomenal amount of cuts" in every area of her school.

Ms Lowe said she had just £10 per pupil per year to fund basic needs like books, and that parents were having to pay for things such as printing.

The joint letter sent home to parents, warning of the impact of cash shortages, quotes a letter to head teachers rejecting a request to talk to the education secretary or Schools Minister Nick Gibb. blaming prioritising ministerial business.


I raised the issue, in a previous message as to what happened to the money gained from the sale of land which should have been more than sufficient to prevent the Headmistress having to descend to cleaning loos. Was it Kingston Council Education Department? It would also be of interest as to how the building work, on the front of the building, is being funded and by whom. Did the playing fields cash allow this work to progress?

One does feel that there are discrepancies in the wailing of poverty when there has been cash received, money being paid out on building work that does not seem to add to the number of classrooms or other facilities. Let us know how the school's finances are being managed to aid the pupils. Both Southborough and Hollyfield seem to be managing.

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