A West London headteacher whose school “leaks when it rains” faces making staff redundant to survive without more funding.

Richard Burke said cutting teachers would force St Richard Reynolds Catholic College to take subjects off the curriculum and increase pressure on class sizes.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the government will invest an extra £2.3 billion per year in schools for the next two years in his Autumn Statement last week.

But Mr Burke said his state school, like many others, will have to make cuts without guaranteed funding increases in the following financial years.

Mr Burke said pressures on the school’s budget include funding teachers’ five per cent pay rise and surging energy bills.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the funding will “go some way” to paying these costs and is better than the cuts that were expected, but “it’s not like Oliver Twist, we’re grateful for a little scrap – it’s back to is education important” and “if so, fund it”.

He said: “Whilst we’ll probably get through this financial year, just about – say maybe £40,000 deficit on a £5 million £6 million budget, which is not bad – the next year and the next year, if funding doesn’t increase, we’re looking at redundancies.”

Mr Burke added: “So you increase class sizes, you take some subjects off the curriculum – some people talk about different days, length of days and things like that.”

He warned: “We’ll survive but in year two, year three we’ll cut, cut, cut – surviving is one thing, but surviving with what?” 

The school for students aged four to 18 was formally opened in 2013 but the building dates back to 1906.

Mr Burke said the building “leaks when it rains” and that he would love a site like Kneller Hall – a mansion previously owned by the Ministry of Defence which is set to become a huge private school.

Even in “leafy Twickenham”, he said, kids have fallen behind since Covid. He said the pandemic has hugely impacted students’ mental health but that “you can’t get an educational psychologist for love nor money” – or a speech and language therapist.

He said “everyone is suffering with the cost of living” and students are changing their habits at home to save on bills.

The school is keen to become a warm bank, meaning it would stay open for longer so kids can shelter from the cold, eat and charge their phones or laptops to work.

Mr Burke added: “We are in a situation where the economy is in a state of disarray, everybody’s got to pull their belts up and we get that, but I think there’s also another way, to say, invest in schools.”

Following the Autumn Statement, Lib Dem Twickenham MP Munira Wilson said: “The increase in school budgets will be a welcome relief for thousands of schools who planned to axe trips or sacking support staff, but it’s only just enough for schools to stand still.”

The Autumn Statement says: “The core schools budget in England will receive £2.3 billion of additional funding in each of 2023-24 and 2024-25, enabling schools to continue to invest in high-quality teaching and to target additional support to the children who need it most.”