“Teachers and parents are increasingly propping up schools with donations and buying essential items such as lavatory paper, surveys show.
Direct debits of up to £1,000 a year are being set up by some school staff to help pay for classroom equipment.
A survey by the Times Educational Supplement (TES) and the National Education Union suggested that 94 per cent of teachers had spent their own money supporting their schools.
Basics such as teabags for the staffroom and paper towels were also being withdrawn by school leaders, the survey of 1,800 teachers claimed.
Stationery items, books, art materials, emulsion paint and storage equipment for classrooms were among the items bought by teachers.
A rising number of parents are being asked to contribute cash to schools. Of 1,500 parents surveyed by the PTA UK association, 29 per cent said that they had been asked to supply teaching equipment, such as stationery and books, the TES reported.
Forty two per cent of parents had been asked to donate to the school fund compared with 37 per cent last year. There had also been a rise in voluntary contributions in the category of £10 to £304 a month, with 26 per cent donating this year compared with 21 per cent last year.
Michelle Doyle Wildman, acting chief executive of PTA UK, said: “Parents are a silent army supporting our schools to give every child the best possible outcome in their education.
“We are concerned that teachers and parents are reporting that they are contributing more to provide the essentials which many expect to be provided by the state.”
A Department for Education spokesman said: “Our new fairer funding formula will replace the outdated funding system which saw our children have very different amounts invested in their education purely because of where they were growing up.”
Campaigners have challenged the fairness of this formula after a separate report indicated that 88 per cent of schools faced real-term cuts in funding between 2015 and 2020, despite the government’s pledge of an extra £1.3 billion.
Jo Yurky, of the parent-led campaign group Fair Funding for All Schools, said: “The national funding formula has become a joke already because there isn’t enough money in the system to go round. The vast majority of schools around the country continue to face a bleak financial situation.”
Source: Times, paywall