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 ?