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Milton Keynes: 01908 014320
Bedford: 01234 987072
Northampton: 01604 633234
Milton Keynes: 01908 014320
Bedford: 01234 987072

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The Staff Room is the region's only specialist Primary supply teaching agency, covering Northamptonshire and South Leicestershire.

First for primary teaching jobs in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes

Inadequate School Funding and its Impact on our Children and Education System

The big issue is school funding, or the lack of it. School leadership is still having to make difficult decisions due to funding cuts; cutting teachers, reduced hours, increased workloads, whether to order basic school supplies, the list goes on.

This is impacting on the health and wellbeing of teachers all over the country with many leaving the profession. There is a severe teacher shortage in the UK and there are reports with clear indications that our education system is broken. According to the Teacher Supply in British International Schools – July 2018, “a strong theme to emerge from the interviews (of teachers leaving the UK to work in international schools) was the dissatisfaction among teachers, some of them still in training, with teaching conditions in the UK.” Some teachers report working “70-80 hours per week” explaining that “students don’t have respect for teachers (in the UK) – and that is because that respect is not in the wider community. That lack of respect is reflected in all of the Government changes: under-inflation pay rises: having to work more for less money… That is why teachers are leaving in droves.”

There is increased responsibility falling on teaching support staff according to a blog post on Education Support Partnership website. The blog states that “The ‘any other duties’ part of the role (of a teaching assistant) is regularly open to abuse, with TAs undertaking a wide range of tasks from developing the school website to running school trips. This has been highlighted as a major cause of work-related stress.”

Financial pressures are also falling on parents, and the statistics of the new Annual Parent Survey (courtesy of Parentkind.org.uk) show that the cost is only heading one way… up! (The following data has been taken from Parentkind.org.uk Annual Parent Survey 2018):

  1. The percentage of parents asked to contribute to their school’s fund is 43% (up from 42% in 2017 and 37% in 2016).
  2. On average, £11.35 is donated each month (an increase of £2.45 on the 2017 figure).
  3. 21% of parents were asked to supply teaching equipment (stationery, books, glue pens etc.) up from 15% in 2017 and 12% have been asked to supply essentials such as toilet paper (up from 7% in 2017).

The Parentkind.org.uk Annual Parent Survey 2018 also mentions that “around half (49%) of all parent respondents in 2018 believe the pressures on school budgets have negatively impacted their child’s education.”

Taking the above into consideration, how are the school budget cuts and lack of funding affecting education standards within schools and how is it being monitored?

An article by TES.com’s Martin George says that “In early 2017, the DfE told the (public accounts) committee that Ofsted inspections would help to give it assurance that education outcomes were “not being adversely affected by the need to make savings”.

As of September 2018, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman told Radio 4’s Today programme that there is “no evidence” that school funding cuts are negatively affecting education outcomes.

Joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union, Kevin Courtney, said that OFSTED “cannot possibly have been asking the right questions” during inspections.

What are your thoughts on the matter? We would love to hear from you. E-mail comments to [email protected]

Sources
1. https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1536159762/cobis/bu6zyw9c7cdxpjs... “Teacher Supply in British International Schools – July 2018”, COBIS (Council of British International Schools)
2. https://www.educationsupportpartnership.org.uk/blogs/claire-renn/stresse... Blog Article “Stresses & Strains of Being a Teaching Assistant”, Anna Christina Connelly, Education Support Partnership.org.uk
3. School funding data https://www.parentkind.org.uk/Research--Policy/Research/NI-Parent-Survey... “Annual Parent Survey 2018”, Parentkind.org.uk
4. https://www.parentkind.org.uk/Research--Policy/Research/Annual-Parent-Su... “Annual Parent Survery 2017”, Parentkind.org.uk
5. https://www.parentkind.org.uk/uploads/files/1/donations%20infographic%20..., Picture “Donation to School Funds” Infographic, Parentkind.org.uk
6. https://www.tes.com/news/dfe-still-doesnt-understand-impact-school-funding-squeeze  “DfE “still doesn’t understand” impact of school funding squeeze, TES.com, Martin George

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