A MUM has told of her shock after her daughter’s school “begged” parents to buy £3.80 books from Amazon for pupils.
Stacy Cook, 36, said she was stunned to receive an email saying the school couldn’t afford basic how-to-read titles for children.
Instead, White Meadows Primary Academy in Littlehampton, West Sussex, sent a link to an Amazon wish list “in the hope of some purchases being made” by parents and carers.
The school blamed budgets being “tighter than ever” for putting resources “financially out of reach” – but stressed contributions were not compulsory.
Stacy slammed funding cuts that see West Sussex schools receive £30million less than the national average each year, according to the WorthLess? campaign for fairer funding.
It’s sad that it’s come to this
Stacy, mum of ten-year-old Isabelle, said: “It’s sad that it’s come to this.
“I received this email and I was shocked and saddened.
“It makes me so upset that something so important for our children’s early learning is becoming so difficult for the school to afford.
“What the school are finding is even the most basic equipment, such as books and even pens and pencils, are difficult to afford.”
“Books should be one of the basic things all schools and all children have access to.”
The school, which has more than 650 pupils, is situated in one of the “most underfunded counties” in the UK .
Of the 29 listed items on the Amazon wish list, many include the very first books school starters will come across.
Other individual books needed include atlases and healthy eating guides.
Now Stacy and other parents with children at the school are faced with the difficult decision of whether they can afford to purchase the books themselves.
Stacy said: “I’ll be thinking about whether we can donate.
“The school is good school and their pupil premium is spent on things like learning mentors and an in-house counsellor for the children that need it. It’s spent on the children’s well-being.
“It would be amazing if the general public were to donate too.”
Like many schools across the country, we are finding the current funding environment challenging
A spokesperson from White Meadows Primary Academy said: “Like many schools across the country, we are finding the current funding environment challenging.
“We have worked hard to manage our resources the best we can, but we are now supplementing this by inviting parents to make voluntary contributions.
“As a school, we stress there is no obligation for parents to donate and we value the ongoing support from our families and the local community.”
It comes after PM hopeful Matt Hancock pledged to outspend Boris Johnson and Michael Gove on education as the Tory leadership turned into a bidding war on education.
In an interview with The Sun, the Health Secretary pledged a £3billion spending spree on state primary and secondary schools in England over the next five years.
It would see an extra £400 spent on every primary and secondary school pupil than the current £4,800 yearly average.
That is twice the extra spending Boris pledged to spend in his education policy launch yesterday – and his only covers secondary school kids.
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