It was with mixed emotions I today heard the news teachers at Furzedown Primary School have volunteered to take a pay cut to save the jobs of colleagues.
Whilst I am proud that five teachers have stepped in to save their colleagues and agreed to take a salary reduction of up to £7,000 - enough to safeguard the jobs of two classroom assistants - this should not be happening.
Schools across the country are so short of funds that headteachers are being forced to make drastic cutbacks. In fact, school funding per pupil has fallen has fallen by 8% in real terms over the past eight years. Heads are being forced to fund raise for basic items such as pens and glue sticks, close at lunch time on Fridays to cut back on running costs, and make difficult redundancy decisions.
Education is not a luxury, and our children deserve better.
These volunteers at Furzedown - some of whom now earn 80% of their previous salary - are a fantastic example of the passionate, committed and caring educators shaping the next generation.