Funding crisis will damage education


Nearly 90 per cent of school and college leaders say the financial pressures they face over the next 12 months will have a detrimental effect on the education they are able to provide, according to a survey conducted by the Association of School and College Leaders.

It reveals that many respondents have already encountered severe financial pressures over the past 12 months. Almost 50 per cent described the situation as “critical” or “very serious”.

More than half have been forced to reduce the number of courses on offer and have had to increase class sizes, while more than a third have been unable to replace teaching staff.

Over the next 12 months, many expect the situation to worsen, with 70 per cent saying it will be “critical” or “very serious”.

About 70 per cent also expect they will have to reduce the number of courses on offer and increase class sizes, while some 40 per cent will not be able to replace teaching staff.

In response to the question: “Will financial pressures have a detrimental effect on the education you are able to provide?” - 88 per cent said "yes."

Schools face a crisis because the money they receive has not kept pace with inflation over the past five years and many areas of England receive inadequate levels of funding due to an outdated formula of allocations.

Over the next 18 months, their budgets will be stretched further by a rise in costs of about 4.5 per cent because of increases to pension and National Insurance contributions, and pay rises for support staff and teachers.

Malcolm Trobe, Deputy General Secretary of ASCL, said: "This issue is of critical importance for the education of our young people and the incoming Government in May simply must resolve it."

School Leadership Today