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Headteachers embarrassing plea to parents to buy basic school supplies

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A desperate headteacher is so short of funds she has sent a Christmas wish list to parents asking for school equipment.

Liz Filer says its embarrassing but she has little choice other than to make a plea for pencils and rulers.

Her shopping list includes such basic items as crayons, chalk, pritt stick and tracing paper.

A desperate head teacher is so short of funds she has sent a Christmas wish list to parents asking for help to provide basic equipment. Liz Filer (PICTURED) described the list as "embarrassing" but she has been forced to make a plea asking parents to stump up the cash for pencils and rulers. The desperate shopping list includes items such crayons, chalk, pritt stick and tracing paper, which Ms Filer says teachers have asked parents to provide. Ms Filer also revealed teaching assistants and resources will have to be axed if the funding gap can't be filled and that staffing costs this year means she cannot replace those who leave. Valentine Primary School in Southampton, Hants, is being asked to make "impossible" savings of ?400,000 this year, and she has "no budget" for resources. SEE COPY FOR DETAILS ? Daily Echo/Solent News & Photo Agency UK +44 (0) 2380 458800

Headteacher Liz Filer gave parents a Christmas wishlist for supplies (Picture: Daily Echo/Solent News)

Ms Filer also revealed teaching assistants and resources will have to be axed if the funding gap cant be filled.

Valentine Primary School in Southampton, Hampshire, is being asked to make impossible savings of £400,000 this year, and she has no budget for resources.

The school currently has around 740 pupils aged between four and 11 and all of them were sent home with a letter from their teacher requesting supplies.

Ms Filer said: We have the budget for essentials, but at the campaign launch meeting parents asked how they could help, and this is what teachers said they need.

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I havent got a budget for extra resources, just the essentials.

We are having to limit how many pencils we can buy. We are getting more money – but its not enough.

Our staffing costs have gone up by quarter of a million this financial year – but the school budget has only gone up £58,000.

PICTURED: Valentine Primary School in Southampton A desperate head teacher is so short of funds she has sent a Christmas wish list to parents asking for help to provide basic equipment. Liz Filer described the list as "embarrassing" but she has been forced to make a plea asking parents to stump up the cash for pencils and rulers. The desperate shopping list includes items such crayons, chalk, pritt stick and tracing paper, which Ms Filer says teachers have asked parents to provide. Ms Filer also revealed teaching assistants and resources will have to be axed if the funding gap can't be filled and that staffing costs this year means she cannot replace those who leave. Valentine Primary School in Southampton, Hants, is being asked to make "impossible" savings of ?400,000 this year, and she has "no budget" for resources. SEE COPY FOR DETAILS ? Daily Echo/Solent News & Photo Agency UK +44 (0) 2380 458800

Valentine Primary School in Southampton is desperately short of supplies (Picture: Daily Echo/Solent News)

Parents have expressed their anger and disappointment that the school is not being funded enough to provide basic stationery or equipment.

Sally Strugnell said: How on earth do the government think they are going to deal with future unemployment, the effect that will have on the economy and future pensions, if children are not educated to a standard that enables them to find a job.

Everything starts with education.

Tiffany Gray added: [Its a] shame that schools are suffering that its come to this, but then again I remember when I was younger we had our own pencil case filled with everything we need so why cant this happen now, Id happily buy my kids resources it should be part of the school uniform.

James Ellis from the National Education Union said the school has more children with additional needs than average, but it doesnt get enough funding to cover the costs.

He said: There are specific issues at Valentine. They have produced a deficit but the amount that they are now being asked to cut isnt sustainable.

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They wont be able to provide the basic level of education.

Its the most vulnerable children who will suffer. The school has 4.2 per cent of EHCP pupils compared to a national average of 1.8 per cent.

It has a knock-on effect on the whole class if there arent support workers there. There is no fat left to trim.

Education boss at Southampton City Council Darren Paffey said: I will keep lobbying the education secretary, and will keep knocking on Damian Hinds door until I get the message through.

Council budgets for education have been slashed so I dont have money to just give out to schools, but I will be fighting for education to receive more money.

MP for Southampton Itchen Royston Smith added: The unions have been saying there have been cuts for years and each time they say it is disproved.

More money is going into our schools than ever before and school funding is at a record high.

The headteacher's Christmas wish list

Pritt sticks
Art supplies such as watercolours
Crayons – art
Pastels
Scissors
Dictionaries
Post-It Notes
Staple removers
Play-Doh
Lolly sticks
Cheap microphones
SATS resources – pencils, rulers, mirrors,
protractors, erasers
Whiteboard pens
Paint brushes (large and small)
Felt-tip pens
Black handwriting pens
Pencil sharpeners
Thesaurus
Card
Collage materials
Glue spreaders
Sellotape (and
ideally dispensers)
DC adaptor plugs
for keyboards
Permanent markers
Chalks – art
Colouring pencils
Blu-tak
Pencil cases –
class set
Masking tape
Split pins
Tracing paper
Glitter
Clarinet reeds
Second-hand instruments, eg keyboards

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