No sooner have headteachers hit out at the feared funding crisis in schools than the begging bowl comes out.
Whitburn Church of England Academy has appealed to families for financial support.
The suggested donation is £10 a month.
If it’s happening in Whitburn you can bet your bottom dollar it’s heading to a school near you soon!
This is, it must be stressed, not a compulsory cash demand.
Parents are being asked nicely for a donation, and there is no obligation to pay.
There is, however, a feeling that this is the thin end of the wedge and only the beginning of things to come.
We are in no way criticising the academy for taking this step.
The staff, like the parents, only have the interests of the pupils at heart.
If the parents can find the extra cash, then all well and good.
The money will be used to ensure the students get the best possible chance in their education.
If the cash comes rolling in then the pupils will be shielded from the impact of the economic shortfall.
But what of the schools where parents are not so well off?
Parents make a significant cash contribution to the education of their children, not only at home but by contributing to school trips and other educational activities.
This can prove too costly for many, and that’s before any extra demands like a monthly direct debit.
There is a danger if this practice is allowed to flourish there will be a widening of the gap between the haves and the have nots.
We’ve called for rethink on this funding formula. After this news, the call just got louder.