Now recovered from a 12 day trip with Year 11 Computing Students to Silicon Valley.
I was reminded recently by someone who knows Townley’s reputation, despite being unfortunate enough to have boys(!), that this school really does provide an exceptional education with opportunities that compete with the best independent schools. It is one of the reasons we are Outstanding.
The list of opportunities is truly impressive:
Prizegiving and Year 11 Celebration Evening
Maximise Study Days for Year 11
Townley Leadership Programme
50 plus extra-curricular clubs
Careers Fair with Alumni students
National Articulation Awards
Poetry by Heart Competition
Oxbridge and Medics Programme
Wellness Wednesdays activities for Year 13
Sports Team kits
And many more……
These all have something in common. They are not funded by central government. Much has been said in the press about the impact of welfare reforms on so many people. It is undoubtedly true that many will suffer but the media has been largely silent about the impact of real time cuts in education spending. As a comparison with the OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) for 2013
Expenditure per students aged 6-15 in countries on the OECD league tables (PISA rankings). In USD
This is three years ago and the costs of education have increased while effectively funding per students has decreased. The planned National Funding Formula and plans to give the school budget directly to schools rather than via Local Authorities may well be a positive step but it is unlikely to be sufficient to compensate for the reduction in funding for post 16 students, just £4000 per student regardless of the cost of courses and the increasing costs of staffing created by rising employer contributions.
I know from listening to Grammar School Headteachers from across the country that it is the most able students and the most successful schools that are increasingly neglected.
While I and other Headteachers work to influence policy makers and ensure they are better informed about the consequences of their actions it will be necessary for all of us to adapt to a new educational world and play our part to sustain great schools like Townley.