School asks parents to help supply pens, pencils and toilet paper

A school has reportedly put together a "wish list" for parents to help purchase supplies including pens, pencils and toilet paper.
A "wish list" for parentsA "wish list" for parents
A "wish list" for parents

The Maidenhead Advertiser reported that St Edmund Campion Catholic Primary School in Altwood Road sent a link to the list of 17 items to parents on Monday.

The school, in Prime Minister Theresa May's constituency, also included requests for Blu-tack, Sellotape and A3 paper, with the list adding that a "never-ending supply" of toilet paper was required.

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Catherine del Campo wrote on Twitter: "In your constituency, @theresa_may, a school not just asking parents for extras, but basic essentials.

"As well as loo roll, I've sent some plasters.

"I thought about sending some to @DamianHinds too, but they didn't have one big enough for the gaping hole in the education budget."

The school told the paper that it had lost £70,000 after the Government decided to reduce the Education Services grant.

It said in a statement: "The Amazon wish list is something we put together in response to our parents asking for ways in which they can support our school further.

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"We have had many deliveries already and are grateful to have such a supportive school community.

"Whilst reduced school funding is naturally a concern, we are in the fortunate position of being able to balance our budget for the next few years."

Announcing the new funding formula last July, then education secretary Justine Greening said the current system was "unfair", adding: "The national funding formula will deliver higher per-pupil funding in respect of every school, and in every local area."

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: "Regrettably we are not surprised to hear that a school is asking parents to buy it toilet rolls.

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"The state of school funding is putting heads in the invidious position of having to ask parents to fill their budget gaps.

"Schools should not have to be scrabbling around for basic resources or equipment or having to ask for donations for essential items or repairs.

"The Government urgently needs to address the £2.8 billion real-terms cuts to school funding to stop this situation escalating."

It is not the first time a school in Mrs May's constituency has asked parents for help with supplies.

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Last November, the Robert Piggott Church of England primary school in Wargrave, Berkshire, sent out a letter asking for a £1-a-day voluntary contribution to help pay for pens, pencils and books.

It said "national changes to school funding" meant they had to request voluntary donations to make up the shortfall.

During a surprise visit to a street in Sutton, south London, in January, the Prime Minister had to reassure a resident about funding concerns after he told her his teacher daughter had to use her own money to buy things for school.

One in five teachers polled in a survey of National Education Union members earlier this year said their school has asked for money to help with funding.