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To feel worried about city schools losing huge sums from their budgets?

(30 Posts)
minifingerz Fri 13-Jan-17 13:40:22


My dc's school isn't listed here, but one just down the road looks set to have its budget reduced by £892 per pupil per annum by 2019.

This is because the government has decided that the right way to address the very serious and devastating under funding of schools outside of our major cities, is to even out the funding across all schools, rather than actually increase the education budget over all. This means that schools like the one my children go to are going to have to shed probably a couple of dozen teachers and most of their support staff.

Meanwhile half the government send their own children to private schools where the spend per head is roughly double the spend which they believe is appropriate and acceptable for a state educated child.

I could cry. I feel so worried about my dc's school. Half the teachers are already barely coping with their workload, my youngest dc has got ASD but no EHCP and no allocated support and I just feel really gloomy about the future of their education.

Can anyone cheer me up?

Hadalifeonce Fri 13-Jan-17 13:52:29

Can't cheer you up, I'm afraid. It's not only inner city schools, rural schools will likely suffer too.
Our local primary is Ofsted Outstanding, but is on the breadline as far as funding is concerned; if the funding goes down, it will likely have to loose teaching staff which will affect its outstanding status.

Otherpeoplesteens Fri 13-Jan-17 14:11:18

Gordon Brown's profligacy with the public purse during the early noughties left us with a structural deficit which was unaffordable before the crash, never mind during and after it. All public services are under funding pressure.

There is little public appetite for increasing taxes. To fund public services to a European level cannot be achieved simply by taxing the (very few) rich people more. The squeezed middle or JAMs would all have to pay more.

So things have to be cut. Pensions? Fat chance. Working age benefits? Can you imagine the howls on the pages on Mumsnet?

Defence? Already pared to the bone and beyond. Foreign aid? What about all those jobs in manufacturing which this actually supports (Land Rover etc)?

The UK does not generate enough wealth through its economic activity to provide the public services we expect through a level of taxation we're prepared to accept. This, and the funding crises in NHS, social care and everything else is the inevitable consequence.

This isn't even particularly ideological, much as it will disappoint lots on here. We're still largely running at Labour's taxation levels, and there was no suggestion at the last election - or even now - that they'd seriously consider raising tax. Labour's solution is to borrow more when the markets seem fairly unwilling to lend, and all that will do is kick the problem a few years down the road - just as we're reaping right now what Gordon Brown sowed in 2000-2007.

MiniEggAddiction Fri 13-Jan-17 14:17:37

YANBU to be concerned.

I think Otherpeoplesteens is right to a certain extent. I think the problem is that the public often vote for the opposite of what is going to get them what they want. Rather than save in a boom spend in a recession which has been fairly well established to be effective. During a boom we think we have lots of money let's vote for labour and spend and during a recession they vote in conservatives who cut back and shrink the economy even further.
When public services are stretched people worry about immigration even though this actually increases our GDP and vote for things like BREXIT. Makes no sense but there we are.

I do genuinely worry about our education and health service. As always it's the most vulnerable who are affected sad, if you're rich enough you're effectively cushioned from the impact of any of these effects.

minifingerz Fri 13-Jan-17 14:24:36

"There is little public appetite for increasing taxes"

I'd pay more.

So would most people I know.

Otherpeoplesteens Fri 13-Jan-17 14:31:30

Lots of people say they would, but that's not what happens at the ballot box at every time of asking.

The Liberal Democrats proposed in income tax rise in 1997, hypothecated for education. I don't recall Paddy Ashdown forming a government by popular demand. What we got instead was Blair/Brown (who made a point of keeping to Tory spending plans for _three years_) and then threw money willy nilly at anything that moved, and quite a bit that didn't. That's what we're paying for now, a decade and a half of compounded interest later, because nobody was prepared to pay for it then either.

mothertruck3r Fri 13-Jan-17 14:51:22

Why should people working paying PAYE pay more tax when so many richer people and companies can avoid tax and NI and have lower tax rates. Better to tax unearned income/assets than actual jobs where people are already struggling and ready to give up (many are better off working part time and claiming benefits). Tax rises for the lower and middle classes are not the answer.

minifingerz Fri 13-Jan-17 14:54:52

Otherpeople, this analysis of spending under the last Labour governments doesn't appear to support your Torygraph/Daily Mail take on why we are struggling so much now.

According to the link above the major beneficiaries of increased spending were healthcare, education and pensions. Do you see spending on health, education and pensions as profligate?

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 13-Jan-17 14:59:20

Defence? Already pared to the bone and beyond. Or fifth largest spending in the world. And ninth as a proportion of our GDP. God knows per capita but I'll bet it's very high. Found it, eighth.

Otherpeoplesteens Fri 13-Jan-17 15:02:45


Income tax, national insurance, and VAT make up nearly three quarters of the UK tax base. It is actually pretty well-established that the only way to significantly increase tax revenue is to increase one or more of these across the entire population.

Yes, a few high net worth individuals use complicated arrangements to hide their wealth from taxation, but there are so few of them that hounding them for a bit more isn't really going to be more than a drop in the ocean. Similarly, corporation tax has to be internationally competitive - higher tax just drives businesses away. There is a well-recognised law of diminishing returns.

There is one tax which we don't have in the UK, but virtually every other place in the world does - capital gains tax on primary residences.

Would that work for anyone?

neolara Fri 13-Jan-17 15:03:00

I'm a governor of a school in a county the least funding per head of any county in the country. Our finances a bloody terrible. While I have some sympathy for schools that are going to lose funding, frankly, they have had in some cases literally thousands of pounds more per child each year that kids in my school. And this has been going on for decades. It's grossly unfair. If our school has managed to cope, than I'm pretty sure the ones in London can do so too. And really they need to stop whinging out it and realise how incredibly lucky they have been compared to thousands of other schools in other parts of the country. We've had decades of underinvestment in our buildings and facilities. It's time to redress the balance.

myfavouritecolourispurple Fri 13-Jan-17 15:09:06

I can't cheer you up either - I live in an affluent area of an affluent county and therefore my son's school is massively underfunded both in comparison with the rest of the county and the country. When the changes come it will stand still. 10 members of staff have been made redundnant this year.

City schools and those in less affluent areas have been well funded for years and I can't really see how it costs more to educate a child regardless of how much money their parents have. I have no problem with schools receiving more funding for SN, but not based on the perceived affluence of the area.

I was a governor for 8 years and the HT had problems getting resources at times because of the postcode. People would just tell her to go away even if she had a child in need.

I hope the balance will be redressed, and soon.

myfavouritecolourispurple Fri 13-Jan-17 15:13:22

There is one tax which we don't have in the UK, but virtually every other place in the world does - capital gains tax on primary residences

I suspect what I paid in mortgage interest and on improvements to my house would outweigh the gain I have made on it since I bought it. I don't actually think it would help at all as most people would fall into my category except for the people who bought a house for £500 in the 60s and sold it now for £500K. I don't actually think there are that many of those. And what would you do if they were selling to pay care home fees?

makeourfuture Fri 13-Jan-17 15:15:50

So it has nothing to do with global conditions? Nor a lack of understanding of basic Keynesian economic principles? Just Gordon Brown.

Otherpeoplesteens Fri 13-Jan-17 15:17:27

Do you see spending on health, education and pensions as profligate?

Given the way it was done, yes. Vastly increased spending on health did not improve the population's health. It went into vastly increased pay costs in the NHS, both in terms of much higher salaries for staff (some deserved, most not) and much higher numbers of staff, in particular the bureaucracy which sprung up to support the targets and terror policy (all bad). It didn't even buy us the shiny new hospitals we now have - they're all PFI funded and haven't been paid for yet.

The vastly increased spending in education didn't produce improvements in education attainment measured by any international benchmark, although it did lead to much better GCSE results. Most of the money went on better pay (again, some good, some bad) and the Building Schools for the Future Programme. Some of this meant that kids didn't have to put up with leaking roofs, but most of it went towards knocking down perfectly good schools in marginal areas and rebuilding them with Labour-voting labour. It is taught in Business Schools around the world as a case study in pork barrel politics masquerading as infrastructure spending.

The state pension system has never been affordable in the UK. The contributions paid in by workers today go straight out to today's pensioners. It is, in technical terms, an unfunded system. Instead of using the boom years to do something about restructuring it to bring it even close to sustainability, successive governments have just thrown more money at it, because old people vote.

makeourfuture Fri 13-Jan-17 15:27:41

Really? You're sticking with this?

No talk about Western stagnation. Nothing regarding over-reliance on the City. Automation.

Otherpeoplesteens Fri 13-Jan-17 15:42:19

Yes, I am. The things you're describing are happening today. What is screwing public spending now is the hole we were boxed into more than ten years ago, which informed Coalition policy in 2010 and are stuck with today.

The boom from 1997 to 2008 should have left the UK with the ability to weather the storm. But by 2007, in a major boom with huge tax revenues, Gordon was still spending £1.20 for every £1 he collected in tax. Then the major source of bumper tax - the City - collapsed but we still had commitments. Again, it will annoy a lot of people here, but tax credits were set up (by that man Gordon) to throw borrowed money at people.

It has left us with no wriggle room ever since. The Osborn/Cameron plan to slash the deficit as quickly as possible is controversial, but it was done with the intention of being able to accommodate future catastrophes such as automation, so that we could look ahead and defend rather than still deal with Gordon's mess. It really is that simple.

If someone came on here to say that they were maxed out on all their credit cards, mortgaged up to their eyeballs, DH had hidden a massive Wonga loan and they were now having to borrow from their Dad to make the minimum payments each month, had no savings and no unemployment insurance, and were about to lose their job, we'd rightly berate them for letting themselves get into that situation when it emerges that they also have the full Sky package, latest iPhone, and gym membership that they've used twice. It's a real pity that not more of us extend the same courtesy to Gordon!

Otherpeoplesteens Fri 13-Jan-17 15:54:10

MrsTerryPratchett - I certainly don't disagree that defence spending here is high, but a high proportion of that props up highly skilled non-military jobs in aerospace R&D and manufacturing, shipbuilding, and so on which would otherwise go.

A lot of the spending is questionable value for money, so for example we're churning out aircraft carriers that won't be equipped with planes for years after they enter service.

But if any neutral observer looked at what politicians expect public servants to do with the resources given to them, the military would be well-placed to win the pissing contest. They've certainly endured some of the hardest real term cuts when they operate in a business where their costs are largely reactive and unplanned, which by definition requires surplus capacity.

trinity0097 Fri 13-Jan-17 16:28:00

It's not fair if funding is being cut, but it's also extremely unfair that the per pupil spend differs so much, I worked in one if the lowest funded counties at the worst funded in the county school, not fair that kids 5 miles away got a few hundred more per head than ours to provide the same basics.

There should be a national figure, with extra for Sen (on a fixed scale) and London allowances.

Crumbs1 Fri 13-Jan-17 16:33:36

Well someone must have voted them in. It's grossly unfair that many schools in really challenging communities get 60% less funding than London schools. They are compared publicly and expected to achieve the same but and deemed to be 'worse' but are dealing with really poor kids in deprived coastal towns. Trusts like Harris might not do quite so well once the playing field is levelled.

Ciutadella Fri 13-Jan-17 16:55:24

Are these cuts to current levels of spending, or to the future projected levels? (if they are different).
I know there is a methodology statement in the link but couldn't work it out

OdinsLoveChild Fri 13-Jan-17 16:58:06

Our Headteacher has just moved to us from an inner-city school. He is shocked at the £1.8 million smaller budget he now has to work with at our market town high school. We have more pupils in our school than his previous school and the issues some students face are extremely complex yet our students have so far been receiving less money per head. If the funding is distributed fairly then schools like ours can actually be able to perhaps purchase 1 book per child rather than sharing 1 between 3. Maybe even replace the dozens of chairs that are taped together too.

Its a good thing for a large number of schools across the country. I entirely understand why you may be upset about your schools budget cuts but for too long rural schools have been ignored. This should go some way towards a fairer society.

makeourfuture Fri 13-Jan-17 17:04:23

"If someone came on here to say that they were maxed out on all their credit cards, mortgaged up to their eyeballs, DH had hidden a massive Wonga loan and they were now having to borrow from their Dad to make the minimum payments each month, had no savings and no unemployment insurance, and were about to lose their job, we'd rightly berate them for letting themselves get into that situation when it emerges that they also have the full Sky package, latest iPhone, and gym membership that they've used twice. It's a real pity that not more of us extend the same courtesy to Gordon!"

Don't most economists frown on comparing countries with households?

I think, fist of all, it must be viewed from an international standpoint. The financial crisis was/is as much a Southern Californian real estate problem as a UK tax problem. Chinese growth and inflation affect us greatly, as do exchange rates and commodity prices.

Western Countries are all responding to global trends that have been brewing for quite a long time. From the US to Germany. It's not so simple at all, and this is the reason isolationism can't work today. We are connected.

Atenco Fri 13-Jan-17 17:13:51

The huge amount of money to bail out the banks might have something to do with it.

While the maasive military spending definitely does.

minifingerz Fri 13-Jan-17 17:33:08

"This should go some way towards a fairer society"

There is no argument that schools outside of urban centres shouldn't be properly funded.

But to do so at the expense of other schools who are also STILL struggling to recruit teachers and provide a good education for children because despite having more money, they don't have an excess of funds!

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