CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

David Baddiel pays for bunsen burners and theatre trip at school amid funding cuts

William Ellis headteacher calls on parents to oppose cuts

11 May, 2017 — By Tom Foot

David Baddiel: ‘I give money to help things that otherwise would not happen’

COMEDIAN David Baddiel has warned the education funding crisis is no joke and revealed how he dug deep to help buy his son’s school’s bare essentials such as whiteboards and bunsen burners.

The Fantasy Football funnyman and novelist, who lives in South End Green, has pitched in to help William Ellis pupils stage a musical and also for a class trip to see Macbeth in the West End.

Mr Baddiel hosted a £5-entry quiz night fundraiser at the Parliament Hill school in February and has also auctioned off two names of characters in one of his children’s books for £1,200 in support of New End Primary School, Hampstead.

“I give money to help things that otherwise would not happen,” he told the Sunday Times. “These schools do their best with not enough money. If you do not have the basic things you need to teach the subjects available then the teaching will suffer. “Inflation is getting higher and budgets are going down. It is getting harder and harder.”

He added: “We are now in a time where the gulf between what your child can expect in terms of facilities, what buildings look like and sports and comfort and facilities at private schools to what is mainly available at state schools is ridiculous.”

Last week the New Journal revealed how schools across Camden are routinely asking parents for donations to plug a huge gap in funding. “Secondary school headteachers at Haverstock, Hampstead and Camden School for Girls have all made public statements condemning the cuts and warning they will have to raise class sizes, cut subjects in the arts and drama, and axe teaching staff. The heads warn the cuts could descend into a full-blown crisis if the government is allowed to bring in its new “fair funding formula” that education experts say will suck tens of millions of pounds out of the Camden state school system.

William Ellis head Sam White has this month written to parents warning that, in Camden, some schools could lose around £500 per pupil by 2019, adding: “The voice of parents in this campaign will be very important. I do hope you will visit the website and voice your opposition to the scale of these cuts to Camden schools.”

The National Union of Teachers estimates most secondary schools in Camden will lose more than £1million from their annual budgets.

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