Campaign Video

NEWS RELEASE - Schools ask for 'Funds, Glorious Funds'

Warrington school children are setting their own challenge to the Government over fairer funding with a unique take on ‘Food, Glorious Food’.

Youngsters from 11 schools have united to put a new ‘twist’ on the classic ‘Oliver!’ theme, changing the focus from ‘food’ to ‘funds’.

With lyrics such as Funds, glorious funds, New paper and pencils!’ and ‘Rich schools have it, boys - long term protection!’ the song aims to highlight the uncertainty Warrington schools are feeling over the government’s new National Funding Formula, and the harmful impact they fear it may have on education.

The video, produced by Sir Thomas Boteler High School, has been uploaded to You Tube at and a website has been set up at, to spread the message.

Children and staff are hoping the video will grab people’s attention – from the public, to schools, to the Government - to help raise awareness of the issue and convince politicians to think again.

The initiative has been spearheaded by head teacher at Woolston Community Primary School, Craig Burgess, who has been campaigning for several years to achieve more funds for Warrington schools.

He said: “This is such an important issue, so we wanted to come up with a creative way of really getting the message out there. I spoke to some of my colleagues who said schools are currently in a position where we are having to beg, just like Oliver Twist. That was the inspiration I needed to write a new version of Food Glorious Food, targeted at the Government.

“Ten more schools quickly came on board and recorded their own performance of the song. All of the versions, featuring hundreds of school children, have been combined to make a powerful, multi-school video, which we hope expresses our fears in a way that resonates across the country.

“Schools across Warrington hoped the National Funding Formula would be the answer to our prayers – but it has, in fact, been the opposite.   We are already the tenth worst funded education authority in the country, how can we lose more? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m hopeful that, through this initiative, we can send out the message that these plans are not meeting the needs of children. Hopefully, we can play our part in securing a fairer deal for our schools.”

Councillor Jean Carter, Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for children’s services, added: “I applaud Woolston Primary School for starting up this initiative and for all those schools who have come on board. It’s a fantastic, imaginative way of telling the Government, in no uncertain terms, what they think about the funding plans.

“The current formula is extremely unfair for authorities like ours and we would implore the Government – ‘please sir, we want some more’. It’s great that children are taking action themselves and uniting to help get this message to the Chancellor.”

Notes to editors

  •  In 2015 the government recognised the ‘postcode lottery’ that exists across the country and promised to introduce a fairer and less complex funding system for schools. The Department for Education announced in March 2016 a single, national funding formula intended to ensure that ‘areas with the highest need will attract the most funding’.
  • The new funding formula, set to be introduced from April 2018, will see Warrington’s schools lose almost a quarter of a million pounds a year and the borough become one of the worst-funded in the country.  Sixty-three of Warrington’s 83 schools are set to lose money under the plans.
  • If the proposals go ahead, only nine of England’s 150 authorities will receive less than Warrington. Based on current pupil numbers, schools in the best-funded areas would receive an average of £6,775 per pupil, while those in Warrington would receive £4,306 – a difference of £2,469 per pupil. Even compared to the national average, Warrington schools stand to receive £439 less.
  • The schools involved in the ‘Funds, Glorious Funds’ project are:

Appleton Thorn Community Primary
Broomfields Junior School
Newchurch Community Primary
Oakwood Community Primary
St. Ann’s Church of England Primary
St. Barnabas Church of England Primary
St. Matthew’s Church of England Primary
St. Philip Westbrook Church of England Primary
Thelwall Community Junior School
Twiss Green Community Primary
Woolston Community Primary

Headteachers 'horrified' by Government's school funding plans

IF SCHOOL funding cuts set out by the Government go ahead it could lead to children being taught by unqualified teachers in classrooms that go without basic repairs and furniture, according to a primary head teacher.
The town is already the 10th worst funded area in the country for education and under the government’s new plans, the situation would become even worse for most schools.
Almost a quarter of a million pounds will be wiped off head teacher’s budgets when the changes come into force in April 2018.
And Craig Burgess, head teacher at Woolston Community Primary School, said ultimately the funding crisis could lead to school closures.
“What’s scary is that things are going to get worse,” he said.
“Single form entry schools, like community and village schools, won’t survive. 
“We are full but financially it will still be a struggle.”
Under the new formula, like-for-like schools in the highest funded areas will receive £565,401 more than Warrington schools like Woolston Primary.
Mr Burgess said head teachers were bitterly disappointed after the government promised a fairer funding formula.
He added: “We thought the national formula would be the answer to our prayers. But we have been shocked and horrified by the latest plans.
“We can’t understand the reasoning behind it. Teaching assistants are already a luxury at some schools. 
“There is not enough money to paint classrooms when they are looking tatty.”
Warrington primary schools are currently some of the best in the country despite being among the worst funded.
They ranked 20th best for this year’s national SATs league tables which rates how children are performing in their year six exams.
Mr Burgess, the former head teacher of Appleton Thorn Primary School, admitted that being successful could mean the government thinks Warrington schools can manage on meagre funds.
But he expects to see grades drop and exclusion rates rise in the next few years if head teachers cannot make ends meet.
The dad-of-two added: “Children in Warrington are getting a raw deal. 
“Why is it that just because my children live in Warrington, they are not going to get the same educational opportunities?”
He suggested the only schools which could thrive under the new formula are very large schools with thousands of pupils, akin to the types of schools found in Asia.
“Is that the educational system this government wants for these children?” he asked.
“I don’t think it’s what parents want. 
“You are not going to know those children as individuals. 
“Everything that is great about British education will start to go.”
Last week the council started a campaign to encourage parents and carers to lobby the Government over the funding problems which exist.
Every parent and carer across the town was sent a letter asking them to protest against the plans.
Cllr Jean Carter, Warrington Borough Council's executive board member for children’s services, said the new proposals will hit Warrington harder.
She said: “What the government has done is replace one postcode lottery with another. And rather than Warrington schools being rewarded for doing well, despite already receiving less than average funding, they are being penalised even more.
Have your say on the government’s consultation into school funding by March 22 and find out more by visiting

Originally published on the Warrington Guardian website (23rd February 2017) at