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Gravesend grammar head rules out 'divisive' plan to ask parents for money

PUBLISHED: 09:15 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:15 02 February 2017

Gravesend Grammar for Boys exterior

Gravesend Grammar for Boys exterior

Archant

Some schools are considering the move as the government proposes a new funding formula

A grammar school headteacher has dismissed the possibility of asking parents for money.

It comes as the head of Cranbrook School, near Maidstone, admitted it was in talks to ask parents for cash if a new government funding formula is put in place.

The Grammar School Heads’ Association claims more than half of the country’s grammars could be worse off if a new ‘fair funding’ plan comes into place.

Under government proposals, funding for schools would be spread more evenly across the country, rather than focusing on urban areas.

Geoff Wybar, executive head of Gravesend Grammar School, said plans “on the surface were a good idea” but added “since this is being done in the context of zero increase in overall funding, it does seem to be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”.

Mr Wybar went on to say: “As with most schools, we do give all parents the opportunity to make a small, entirely voluntary, contribution to a school fund which is used to provide some additional resources beyond the ordinary.

“It’s fair to say that all schools are struggling with what amounts to a standstill in the money coming to school budgets, as opposed to a major increase in outgoings.

“Some schools in very affluent parts of the country choose to go to parents to ask for extra funding to cover the costs of education. Gravesend Grammar School does not serve an area of the country like this, we are here to educate those boys who pass the Kent Tests entirely regardless of economic status.

“It would be divisive and against everything we stand for as a state selective school to ask parents to pay for basic education, so we have no intention of doing so.”

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