Leeds & West Yorkshire

Ilkley Grammar School asks parents for cash donations

Ilkley Grammar School
Image caption Parents are being asked to donate between £60 and £180 a year

A cash-strapped school has asked parents to donate up to £180 a year in a bid to swell its coffers.

The school, in the affluent Yorkshire town of Ilkley, has lost £1m from its budget over a five-year period, according to its head teacher.

Helen Williams told parents it was imperative to raise funds to maintain provision for its 1,600 pupils.

The Department for Education said school funding was at its "highest level" on record.

Read more about this and other stories from across Leeds and West Yorkshire

Ms Williams told parents changes to funding were making the task of providing the highest level of education "increasingly difficult".

She said the school could lose a further £330,000 each year by 2019-20 due to proposed changes to the National Funding Formula.

Rising pension contributions mean the school would be paying out an additional £150,000 by 2019-20, she added.

"We are now sadly forced to have to find ways to reduce our annual costs even further from next year."

'Dire straits'

Parents are being asked to donate voluntarily by a single payment or regular contributions ranging from £60 to £180 a year.

The school hopes to raise £75,000 by September.

Amy Stidworthy, who has one child at the school, said she felt sorry for the school being put into the situation of having to ask for money.

"These are state schools and it is the thin end of the wedge if we are being asked to fund not the extra stuff but basic staffing costs."

Another parent, Sarah Wilde, agreed: "I feel sorry for the school but they obviously feel they are in dire straits."

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: "Under the proposed national schools funding formula, more than half of England's schools will receive a cash boost in 2018-19.

"We recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to provide advice and support to help them use their funding in cost effective ways."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites