Budget cuts = Bigger classes

The majority of state schools will be forced to cut their budgets next year, resulting in bigger classes and fewer GCSE and A-level options. 

According to a new survey of nearly 500 school leaders, cutting costs will be a major priority for 55% of schools over the next 12 months, a 15% increase on the same survey last year.  The situation in secondary schools is worse, with 71% preparing to cut spending.

The cuts will mean bigger class sizes and a reduction in the number of GCSE and A-level subject options, the Independent reports. The subjects most likely to suffer are minority foreign languages, music and drama.

Two-thirds of school leaders are also worried that they will have to divert mainstream funding to pay for the new SEN framework, which offers parents more support for their children.

ASCL’s Brian Lightman said the survey reflects “the climate of uncertainty, austerity and ongoing change in schools” and called for a fairer funding system. “With the election looming, we are pressing all political parties to commit to a national funding system that ensures all schools are funded equitably, adequately and in the context of the demands required of them.”

Nick MacKenzie, author of the school leaders survey said: “With an election next year, schools will be looking closely to see how the parties address these challenges. However, it is clear that dissatisfaction amongst school leaders extends well beyond school budgets.”

How would you feel about teaching a larger class? And if you teach one of the subjects that may be affected by budget cuts, how would you adapt to keep classes going ?

4 thoughts on “Budget cuts = Bigger classes

  1. Class size as an issue is raised every so often but is never taken seriously enough by the political class because it is too expensive…. there is usually a lot of talk…… not much action Money is at the bottom of it but of course someone will say class size is only one of many issues and cite teacher quality as more important or that leadership is x y and z therefore class size is only part of a wider context. Correct but so what/
    Everyone knows smaller classes mean better experiences for all concerned…… So my conclusion is that the present budget cuts may increase class sizes overall but the status quo remains. Class size will never be taken seriously (other than rhetorically) until it is a real priority with all the financial implications included

  2. As a potential career changer coming from a legal background, i am keenly aware of the impact of cuts upon the morale of a profession.
    You have to constantly adapt to the changing economic environment.
    I would not be overawed by larger class sizes. The school where i volunteer as a ta has average ass sizes of 25. The downside to all this, as the previous writer testifies, is that you cannot always pay attention to differentiation and devote class time to one to one support.
    There are few teaching assistants at the school as it is and most work mainly with sen students. This doesn’t plug the gap with the middle tier who often need extra help and encouragement.

  3. Steve I totally agree with you. It is the same here in Canada where big business is more of a concern than funding the future generation. Investing in the next generation is a long term investment that governments are not prepared to look at as they do not see an immediate return for their dollar. In the province I reside in the government is pushing for privatization of everything – shops, businesses, school, etc. Privatization of education only allows those rich enough to gain a good education and those who are poor, not. It is a return to feudalism. Truly public education is being attack and under valued. We must fight for that which makes our country strong.

  4. Unfortunately, it’s already difficult. A group of 30 children often have not enough space to sit without touching each other, not enough space for pupils’ books, too little space between tables so, teachers or children cannot move around safely and etc.

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