Urgent Update on School Funding

School funding this year is once again not keeping up with significant increases in costs that schools face.  Funding for St Matthew’s has fallen in real terms again this year.  The school has made many cuts and efficiencies in response to years of underfunding, but there are limits to how much can be cut without impacting our children’s education.

Immediate Need for Increased Funding

Fund St Matthew’s is a campaign run by the PTA to raise funds for the school. While Fund St Matthew’s aims to focus on long-term projects, the current necessity is to use donations to prevent further reductions in what the school can provide. Over the past two years, contributions through Fund St Matthew’s have supported essential services like IT, mental health, and music programmes. However, more support is urgently needed to maintain these and other crucial areas.

Please give monthly if you can

We are asking for your support to help maintain the high standards of education and enrichment at St Matthew’s Primary School. A regular monthly donation from those who are able would make a significant difference:

£10 per month could allow us to continue providing music and mental health programs, and maintain other enrichment activities.

£100 per month, or more, from some families could enable us to not only sustain but also enhance these vital services and help provide additional teaching assistant time.

One-off donations are also welcome and will be put to good use, but regular donations – or larger lump sums – better help us fund ongoing needs.

Or donate your time

If you can’t give money but can give time then the school and PTA have many volunteering opportunities which help the school. Please let the PTA know if this is you.

Find out more about the PTA at stmatthewspta.org.uk

Thank you

We remain hopeful for increased government funding in the coming years. Once funding improves, Fund St Matthew’s will shift its focus back to long-term improvements rather than day-to-day operational needs.

Please consider setting up a monthly donation if you can. Every contribution, large or small, makes a difference.

Thank you for your continued support of our school community.

School Projects Funded 2024

School funding in 2024 is once again not keeping up with significant increases in costs that schools face.  Funding for St Matthew’s has fallen in real terms again this year, leaving the school with difficult choices. Cuts and efficiency savings have been made, but there is a limit to what can be cut without impacting our children’s education.

Mr Davies once again asked the PTA and this campaign to fund a series of budget items that he considers important to maintain, but which were at risk of being cut due to a budget deficit.

ItemCost
Chromebook lease for the year – essential for the school’s teaching£8,149
Music Teaching – the school hopes this will allow it to continue to offer a day a week, rotating through the school years on a half-termly basis, of dedicated music teaching£12,234
Counselling service – a lifeline for pupils in need, and to avoid classroom disruption£8,450
Pupil Premium Club Participation – to enable children to attend after-school clubs that their families cannot afford£4,500
Total£33,333

The PTA committee agreed that maintaining provision of these items takes higher priority than the school improvement projects that we aspire for Fund St Matthew’s donations to go towards. The reality is that government funding levels do not cover the school’s needs, and we are glad to be able to step in and fund the above items from Fund St Matthew’s.

£10k donations matched

In September 2023 we launched a match funding campaign, thanks to a generous parent donor who provided a £10k matching fund.

We’re pleased to announce that, as of April 2024, £10k of new donations – above our ‘baseline’ of £1,060 per month – have now been made, unlocking the full £10k matching, allowing us to continue to support the school during another period of insufficient budgets.

Thank you to everyone who donated, including our match funding donor.

Library carpet funded

In February 2023, £2,500 Fund St Matthew’s donations were used to contribute 50% of the cost of a hard-wearing carpet for the new library area. The other 50% came from core PTA funds.

Doesn’t it look great!?

15 Chromebooks purchased using your donations

We’re delighted to report that the school is now using 15 additional Chromebooks (laptops) and a charging trolley that were bought using £5500 of the funds donated via Fund St Matthew’s.

15 Chromebook laptops in their charging trolley
The new Chromebooks in their charging trolley

This is the first item that has been funded using the Fund St Matthew’s donations “beyond £60k”. Other projects which are to be funded soon include outdoor learning equipment, a reorganisation of the library, and a roof canopy outside the dining hall.

Original £60,000 funding shortfall target met!

We are thrilled to announce that in December 2020, 19 months after starting the campaign, we reached our target of £60,000. This was the amount by which the school’s funding was cut in its 2019-20 budget.

Headteacher Mr Davies holding cheque from the shortfall campaign
Mr Davies receiving the cheque bringing the total donated to the school to £60,000

“I really can’t thank parents and carers enough… This has made a huge difference to the school over the last year… Because of this money, we have been able to employ teaching assistants to support children’s learning, and confidently make decisions such as our recent investment in Chromebooks for teaching computing.” –

Tony Davies (Headteacher), Dec 2020

What happens now?

Although we have filled the 2019-20 shortfall, many parents want to continue supporting the school. This support will allow it to make improvements and investments in our children’s education and wellbeing that would not otherwise be possible. Please check the Home page for more information.

1,000 people joined the Cambridge march to protest against school funding cuts

Here is some of the media coverage of our 1st April march against school funding cuts:

Time lapse video

Video showing size of march

ITV News Anglia report

BBC Look East (West) News report  (7 mins in)

Interview with St. Matthew’s headmaster Mr Davies (skip to 1 hour 5 mins 55 seconds)

Cambridge News report

Varsity news report

Children’s speeches

Cambridge Independent

Other photos and videos can be found in the Fund Our Schools Facebook group