Only last month I wrote here about the problems facing school funding – and the need for the funding formula to resolve it in a way that’s fair to communities across the country. I said:
“The answer to the financial problems schools face is not to shift pots of money about – robbing Peter to pay Paul – but to provide the necessary additional funding to ensure schools across the country can provide quality education for all, decent wages for those who work in them and – crucially – stay open five days a week.”
Yet research released today shows there’s still a long way to go. 98% of schools in England will be worse off per pupil by 2020, and schools will lose £3 billion a year in real terms. The average primary school will face a cut of £87,117 a year. Cuts for secondary schools will be £405,611 on average. The effect on young people and schools alike will be significant. Meanwhile in Scotland, support staff are struggling to maintain standards in a climate of cuts – 54% of support staff say budgets have been cut, 40% carry out unpaid work to meet workloads, 60% say morale is low, and 80% say workloads are heavier.
Cash-strapped schools are struggling to give children a decent education. The funding crisis means overcrowded classrooms, support staff not being replaced and parents having to pay towards the cost of lessons.
Children, parents and staff deserve so much better – and in the run up to the budget we’ll by lobbying MPs for the additional funding schools need.
(You can find out the impact of school cuts in England by visiting www.schoolcuts.org.uk)