A STATE primary school in Caversham facing financial difficulties has asked parents for contributions to school coffers.

Caversham Primary School sent a letter to parents on January 30 requesting a voluntary £190 donation, equivalent to £1 per school day.

The fundraising drive comes as the school’s reserves look unable to meet next year’s predicted deficit.

Ruth Perry, head teacher at Caversham Primary, said: “The reason parents are being very supportive is we have been very open and transparent over the last year with the fact that we are struggling financially because of the cuts being made to the education budget.

“Ninety per cent of our costs are staffing. We have staff that have been here for many years and love working here and are therefore expensive because they have moved up the pay scale.

“We also have the pressure of increased pensions and national insurance contributions.”

Mrs Perry went on to say that the Parent Teacher Association had raised significant amounts of money for the school over the last 40 years, but that their hard work was no longer enough to plug funding gaps.

When asked whether any jobs were at risk if not enough contributions were made, the head teacher said: “That is a process that we are discussing but I want to avoid doing that because of the huge negative impact that would have on the children.

“This is a decision we didn’t take lightly and it is not one we are happy to be making.”

A Caversham Primary pupil’s parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I think it is a shame but I understand why they are doing it.

“I would prefer some parents contribute a little rather than teachers get let go.”

The primary school’s letter comes a year before the government is due to introduce a new funding formula.

Despite the Department for Education insisting school funding will reach record highs, critics have suggested per-pupil amounts will be significantly reduced.

Union website schoolcuts.org.uk predicts that Caversham Primary School could lose £412 in annual funding per pupil by 2019.