TODAY we once again focus on the sad plight of Sussex schools.

On page 30 we report on Alex Bird, the head of a primary school in Horsham.

He says working conditions at St Mary’s are atrocious and he has had to cut the hours of support staff in a bid to make ends meet.

He has appointed teachers to a lower grade on the pay scale than where they should be because he simply cannot afford to pay them more.

He claims the cash raised by parents as part of the parent teacher association was “desperately needed” and money was so tight that parents had made cash contributions to the school.

What a sorry story. Or is it?

First, we all want more money for our schools. That’s natural and we don’t want our children going to schools where money is short.

Second, the reality is every public service has faced cutbacks, including the NHS and police.

All public services are under pressure.

So we need to be reassured that every school is spending its money in the right way.

Do they all have excellent business managers keeping the budget under strict control?

Are any paying their heads six-figure salaries?

Do any have massive reserves in their budget?

Are any paying expensive PR agencies to write stories about their school?

If all those questions can be answered appropriately, then we can all be satisfied that action needs to be taken.

We all want our schools to be properly funded and we all want to see them show real progress with their students.