Walsall schools could be left struggling to pay for essentials due to rising costs - warning

The cost of living crisis could leave schools in Walsall struggling to pay for essentials such as pencils due to increased pressure on budgets.

Bosses are expecting an increase in children living in poverty as households struggle to make ends meet but warned schools will be affected too.

Calls are now being made to the Government to provide additional funding for schools which will feel the pinch as rising inflation and energy costs bite in the coming weeks and months.

Members of Walsall Council’s education overview and scrutiny committee were presented with the grim picture at a meeting on Thursday.

Councillor Bobby Bains, who raised the issue, said: “We have done really well with all the schools, we are moving forward and have targets in place for making improvements.

“But with the cost of living crisis. Do you think that will have an effect on the targets? It is out of your control really.”

Sharon Kelly, Walsall Council’s director for access and inclusion said: “It is obviously going to have an impact.

“We already have high deprivation and a high number of people already living in poverty. That’s only going to increase and be impacted.

“We are going to have that concern. We’re also going to have the fact of high energy costs and schools will be feeling that the same as homes.

“They have got a budget, a finite budget, and as those costs go up that means money then isn’t available for teachers, pencils, etc.

“There will be an impact of it. It’s out of our control but its something we can monitor and something we can raise when we have conversations with the Department for Education.”

Deputy mayor Chris Towe, who was portfolio holder for education and skills up until May, added: “Inflation is going to hit us like it will hit anybody else and as the price increases it means the budgets are going to be squeezed even more.

“I don’t know if the Government is planning on giving us any more money but clearly there are going to be impacts which means services will be squeezed.

“We hope the Government recognises this and does something to support schools and local councils to recover some of these costs.”

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News