'No cuts to curriculum' says community college principal after plea for parent contributions

PUBLISHED: 13:43 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:51 22 March 2019

Andrew Davis, principal of Exmouth Community College, has asked parents to make a 'voluntary contribution' to the school in the wake of budget cuts. Picture: Terry Ife/Sean Keywood

Andrew Davis, principal of Exmouth Community College, has asked parents to make a 'voluntary contribution' to the school in the wake of budget cuts. Picture: Terry Ife/Sean Keywood

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Exmouth Community College principal Andrew Davis said they are avoiding cuts to the curriculum ‘at all costs’ after asking parents to a voluntary contribution to the school

There will be no cuts to the curriculum says Exmouth Community College principal Andrew Davis in the wake of a plea being issued to parents for voluntary cash contributions.

College parents were issued with a letter which asked them to put their hands into their pockets to help the school provide extra-curricular activities.

Families are being asked to voluntarily pay £15 for their first child and a further £5 for each sibling currently attending the college.

In the letter, Mr Davis tells parents that delays in implementation of the government’s ‘fairer funding’ formula means Devon schools continue to be £304 per pupil worse off than the national average.

He also said this equates to a shortfall of £689,776 for the community college when compared to national schools.

Speaking to The Journal, Exmouth Community College principal said they currently have ‘no plans’ to cut the curriculum.

He said: “If everyone contributes it will be a significant amount of money. It’s not a solution to solve the crisis but will enable us to be able to fund areas to enhance the curriculum.

“The size of the college has protected it from the worst of the cuts so we have more funds than other schools have.

“We still offer a broad and varied curriculum offering health and care courses, different routes through PE as well and media and computing studies.

“At the moment we have no plan to cut that but these are the sort of things other schools have had to cut back on.

“We are avoiding, at all costs, cuts to the curriculum.”

Mr Davis told parents that the college has already had to reduce contracts that it can no longer afford and implement a vacancy freeze on all non-frontline posts to avoid ‘unnecessary reductions’ to teaching staff.

According to the letter, the money will be ring-fenced for providing classroom aids and production equipment which will allow them to stage shows like this year’s Les Miserables.

Mr Davis also said the money donated by parents would not be going towards staffing costs.

He said: “We are not the only school sending out these types of letters. There are schools across the country asking for contributions.”

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