Lack of schools funding is putting teachers’ jobs at risk
PUBLISHED: 10:33 25 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:33 25 February 2017
Headteachers in Essex are warning government under-funding is putting teachers’ jobs at risk and could lead to bigger class sizes.
The warning comes on the back of the Government’s proposed national funding formula, which many headteachers feel does not tackle the issue of funding shortages in schools.
The Government says the new funding formula will provide a much fairer basis for allocating funds to schools and will give head teachers more certainty over their future budgets and long-term planning.
But the National Union of Teachers (NUT) warns the effects of the proposals will result in fewer staff and larger classes in primary and secondary schools in the county.
Miles Bacon, headteacher at Thurstable School in Tiptree, said: “They are obviously winners and losers with the national funding formula and no formula is perfect.
“However, the main problem is the fact there is not enough money in the pot to begin with. Schools are having to deal with things like increased National Insurance contributions, increased pension contributions for staff, as well as costs of utilities rising with inflation.
“Dealing with such rising costs is very difficult without damaging the quality of children’s education.”
Neil Gallagher, headteacher at Clacton County High School, said: “The national funding formula in principle, I do not have a problem with. We all want a fairer basis for funding and that is a principle I believe in.
“But the national funding formula is a slight distraction from the real concern that there is not enough money in the system.
“Schools have to consider how to manage their budgets and many will look at staffing.”
Councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council cabinet member for education, said: “The Government’s proposed new funding formula aims to ensure the level of funding received by each school is fair and relative to the needs of its pupils.
“We want children from all backgrounds to get the best possible education and welcome the introduction of a fairer, more transparent system.”
Jerry Glazier, NUT executive member for Essex, said: “Schools, like other public services have increased demands and reduced funds and this has to have an impact on the service.
“The effects can only be fewer teachers, fewer support staff and larger classes.”