A UK primary school was forced to sack teachers and staff after energy costs increased by more than 300%. St John’s Green Primary School in Colchester made the decision as they were feeling the impact of rising costs with annual bills soaring from £36,000 to £119,000.
According to a report by Daily Gazette, the costs are projected to increase to £155,000 by the end of the next year. It is uncertain how many members of staff were made redundant, but the school stated that they had no other option.
He also stated that the government’s lack of funding hasn’t helped the situation. According to the report, salary increases for teachers and support staff have also eaten into the school’s budget at a total cost of £100,000 due to not being funded by the government.
Expressing “huge regret”, headteacher Simon Billings said “something has to give” to ensure they can cope. He said: “It is an absolute tragedy and a horrible situation for our school to be in. It will have ramifications across every department.
“Even having prudent financial management does not matter when you are facing these types of rising bills. I appreciate how cross and angry many people are with regards to this and the lack of funding that has brought about our current circumstances.
“But as it stands, I cannot make the situation better and there will be no easy way to mitigate the situation for our children, the staff of the school and our parents. I can only say we have a dedicated team and the school will continue to ensure we give our utmost to our children.”
The Government had last year pledged to allocate a share of £500 million to schools and colleges in England to help them “save on bills and manage energy consumption.” However, the school governors said they did not receive any additional support.
This comes after thousands of teachers around the country went on strike over pay. Around 23,000 schools were affected by the strike at the beginning of the month in order to secure a pay rise.