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School budget survey: Teachers paying for school equipment with own money

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The scale of the budget pressures our schools are facing is laid bare in the findings of a major survey. The results of which have been shared exclusively with ITV Meridian.

The poll - spearheaded by school leaders in Sussex - reveals things are so bad at many schools, that teachers are now paying for equipment with their own money.

It comes as research from an independent thinktank reveals almost a third of schools are facing a deficit, with the average secondary in almost half a million pounds in the red.

Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford has the story:

2,000 headteachers took part in the new survey.

72%
schools say they were more likely to go into deficit than previously
80%
schools say things are so bad, teachers are paying for equipment out of their own pockets

Isabel Robson- Herons Dale Primary School has increased class sizes, made staff cuts and is now looking at setting a deficit budget..and she's not alone.

84%
schools polled say their ability to meet the needs of pupils with special needs has reduced

That's bad news for those like 17 year old Callum from Worthing. His teachers do everything they can to support him, but his mum says the daily impact of cutbacks takes its toll.

Tara Robinson, mother:

Callum's headteacher at Oak Grove College says the survey shows that enough is enough.

This sends a clear message from a large group of colleagues. The reality is it feels like we have been saying this for the last few years and people haven't really taken that seriously and it really is now time for politicians to take it very seriously and do something about it.

– Phillip Potter, Headteacher

Politicians say they are doing something about it.

The schools minister and Bognor Regis and LIttlehampton MP Nick Gibb said they've listened and are offering schools additional help.

The government continues to insist it is providing record levels of school funding and the chancellor announced an additional £400 million in the Autumn budget for the "little extras" schools might need.

However, headteachers - many of whom marched on Downing Street in September - say that's nowhere near enough and feel the government is deliberately misleading parents and the wider public about the scale of the financial difficulties our schools are facing.

Headteachers who marched on Downing Street say more needs to be done Credit: ITV Meridian