Budget Squeezes Force Staff Cuts in English Schools: According to a new survey published by the Association of School and College Leaders, alongside law firm Browne Jacobson, more than a half of schools are prepared to make cuts in the number of staff on their books as a way to reduce the rising pressures as a result of budget decisions.
According to the survey, 55% of school leaders said that they were looking to bring down the overall level of staffing in the coming year. Of that 55%, three quarters said that they would be looking to reduce the number of teaching roles. Six out of ten schools said they would reduce staffing levels by up to 5%, with a quarter saying they would be cutting between 6%-10% of staff in the coming twelve months.
Fewer than a tenth of senior leaders said they were positive about government policies. More than nine in ten said they were dissatisfied with how schools are funded (92%).
The research comes in the wake of revelations that the Department for Education has failed to hit its recruitment target for teachers for the fourth year in a row – although the amount of primary school teachers required was met. However, only four fifths (82%) of the forecast number of secondary school places have been filled, despite a rise in the number of recruits. One positive element for the DfE was that their approach of offering generous bursaries to graduates has been somewhat successful, with the number of physics teachers entering the profession rising.
The shadow Education secretary, Lucy Powell, said that:
“The government has left schools struggling against falling applications in key subject areas like maths and science, and the highest number of teachers leaving the profession since records began.”
The coming spending review is expected to include provision for a new schools funding initiative, called ‘Fairer Funding’. However, it is thought that this is unlikely to have an impact until September 2017.
We welcome comments from all our readers - so please feel free to express your views in the space below. You can also sign up to receive posts directly to your inbox, free of charge. Additionally, education professionals may be interested in joining our community.