A cash-strapped head teacher in a primary school has said that he had to force his mother into volunteering to be his lunchtime assistant and his sister to clean the classroom.

  • Steve Hitchcock is the head teacher and said he struggles to keep his catering staff.
  • He said his energy bills have doubled and his catering bill is £38,000 in the red
  • He is the principal at St Peter’s Primary in Budleigh Salterton Devon 
  • It was impossible to keep a school in such circumstances, he said.  

Because of a shortage in staff, the head teacher had to ask his parents and sister for help.

Steve Hitchcock from St Peter’s Primary (Budleigh Salterton), Devon stated that some of his catering employees were leaving for supermarkets as they pay more.

He said energy bills had risen 100 per cent in the last six months, the catering bill was £38,000 in the red and the school did not have the money for staff pay increases of between five and 10 per cent.

He said, “It feels like someone needs to give. Enough is enough.”

It’s impossible to achieve this goal.

The two are not compatible.

Steve Hitchcock of St Peter's Primary in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, said he was losing some catering staff to supermarkets because they paid more

Steve Hitchcock, of St Peter’s Primary, Budleigh Salterton in Devon said that he lost some caterers to supermarkets due to higher wages.

Mr Hitchcock, who became head teacher of St Peter's primary school in Budleigh Salterton, Devon in 2008 said

Mr Hitchcock, who became head teacher of St Peter’s primary school in Budleigh Salterton, Devon in 2008 said 

“Staff leave to work in supermarkets to get better jobs, which makes it really difficult to hire.

“At the moment it is particularly difficult to get cleaners and staff for lunch, because the wages are low.

“So, I asked my mom to volunteer to help me at lunchtime.

“And I had asked my sister if her sister would come in and clean our house, to be sure that we had enough workers to handle it all.

“It’s crazy!”

In 2008, he started his career as a teacher and claimed that it was so difficult to find other jobs.

He said, “We’re constantly asking our parents for money. We also ask local groups. And we are always trying to obtain money from every source.

“It shouldn’t be my job.”

According to the Department for Education, it was aware that schools face cost pressures. Schools would be able to benefit from Energy Relief Scheme.

However, Mr Hitchcock stated that the school has seen a 9 per cent reduction in real terms in its income over the past decade.

According to the Department of Education, schools, like all other society, are experiencing cost pressures from rising inflation and high energy prices. This is why schools can benefit from the Energy Relief Scheme. It caps how much energy schools must spend and gives them more control over their winter budgets.

‘We are supporting schools with £53.8bn this year in core funding, which includes a cash increase of £4bn and are also providing schools with tools to help them get the best value for money from their resources, including recommended deals for energy costs and services related to energy.’