Funding cuts cause secondary schools to lose 15,000 staff, unions warn
The UK’s teacher shortage persists, at a time when pupil numbers continue to climb. This is putting significant strain on the education sector as whole, but it seems that secondary schools are bearing the biggest brunt.
Our own data uncovered that secondary school vacancies are increasing 18% year-on-year, compared to 12% for primary schools. Now, the School Cuts alliance has warned that funding cuts have led to 15,000 secondary school staff in England being dropped. [The eTeach 2017-18 report – Free download]
The alliance explains that reduced staff numbers is leading to larger classes, meaning teachers are unable to spend as much one-on-one time with children. According to their analysis of government data, an average of 5.5 staff members have left since 2015, even though 31,000 more students have joined secondary schools, the Independent reports.
Specifically, classroom teacher numbers have dropped by 6,463, teaching assistants by 4,555 and support staff by 2,454. There have also been falls in the number of auxiliaries and leadership positions, by 1,453 and 238 respectively.
Areas receiving the lowest levels of funding per pupil are most affected by these cuts, including Reading, Isle of Wight, Central Bedfordshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, York, Derby and Milton Keynes. The situation is likely to worsen, says the alliance, which predicts that 90% of schools in England and Wales will be impacted by a real-terms cut in funding per student between 2015 and 2019.
Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, commented that the analysis “now confirms what teachers and head teachers have been saying for the last two years: the cuts to education are damaging for children’s education.”
Bousted continued: “Schools are cutting back on teacher numbers and the pupil-to-teacher ratio is worsening. Children only have one chance to go to school. We should be investing in this generation of young people who will see such product changes during their lifetime.”
With all schools working to a tight budget, our solutions can help you to streamline your recruitment process and save money. The eTeach Talent Pool software, for instance, is a proactive approach to recruiting; over time, you will build your own community of skilled candidates interested in working for your school, saving you from paying head-hunter fees. A one-off payment buys you an annual licence, which entitles you to unlimited job advertising.
Also, focusing on keeping your staff happy and morale high will lower turnover and save you money on re-hiring or relying on supply staff. Our comprehensive annual teacher survey revealed schools need to ensure workloads are manageable, offer round-the-clock support, and give your teachers everything they need to provide children with the best possible education. [The eTeach 2017-18 report – Free download]
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