Cash-strapped school appealing to Children in Need to help disadvantaged pupils

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A school is appealing to BBC Children in Need for cash to help disadvantaged pupils because of a funding crisis.

Downshall Primary, in Ilford, East London, is appealing for help to provide pastoral care workers.

The 648-pupil school has had to axe two support staff and cut back on reading support assistants because of budget cuts.

Head-teacher Ian Bennett said: “We are looking to charities to fund the school.

“To have no pastoral support is awful. To lose two reading support workers is criminal.

“These children are not going to get the support they need.”

Ian Bennett, headteacher of Downshall primary school in Ilford

The school has many disadvantaged pupils, including refugees, and 90% have English as a second language.

Paul Whiteman, of union NAHT, said: “The fact that schools are looking for charitable donations just to pay for the basics should be ringing serious alarm bells for the government.

The Department for Education said: “School funding in England is at its highest ever level.”

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