For the first time ever, the Government has released financial data for England’s state schools. The information shows the funding and expenditure per pupil and how their money is being spent. The decision to release this information has been made in the hope that by doing so, it will urge parents, local media and interest groups to be more assertive when it comes to demanding value for money in schools.
Those who are against the release of the financial information argue that the data is in fact more likely to confuse than inform. Instead, parents should be encouraged to become more involved in the general aspects of their children’s schooling rather than becoming “amateur auditors”.
Some of the information which can be found in the report includes;
Per pupil spending – Figures are given for per pupil spending for Primary and Secondary schools in 2009 – 2010. These figures reveal that there are huge variations between the funding in different schools across England.
Funds raised by schools – These figures detail the proportion of income that each school generates by itself. This can include through methods such as donors, endowments or an active Parent Teacher Association.
Regional variations – The data also provides average grant funding for schools in each local authority. However, it has been found that comparing these figures may be misleading because academies have been excluded from the findings.
Where the money goes – The new figures also show what schools spend their money on. The largest expenditure was teaching followed by various other categories including premises, back office costs, energy and ICT.
The publication of this information has come at a time when school budgets are being closely monitored due to funding cuts. As a result of this schools and staff are under pressure to find areas where they can reduce costs. Taking this into consideration, Eteach has developed School and Regional Talent Pools in order to help drive down the cost of recruitment for schools.
Candidates now have the ability to join Talent Pools all year round regardless of whether a school is currently recruiting or not. This means that when a recruiter is looking for a new teacher, rather than spending valuable money on placing job adverts in various different mediums, they can simply look in their Talent Pool where they will already have a selection of CVs waiting for them.
What do you think about the government releasing financial data for England’s state schools? Will it encourage parents to get involved in how money is spent in schools in a healthy manner or is it going to cause arguments and hasty decisions being made?