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To wonder which is true - school funding

(158 Posts)
ThereWillBeAdequateFood Fri 08-Mar-19 10:39:07

Head teachers are warning out a school funding crisis. Stating they have having to increase class sizes and are struggling to pay for text books.

But apparently school funding has increased hmm.

What is going on with school funding? Are schools expected to do loads more with slightly more money?

daisypond Fri 08-Mar-19 10:44:36

Like many things with statistics, they are both true - it depends on precisely what you are measuring.

School funding has increased in material terms, but the costs of running a school have gone up more, therefore in actual terms, school funding has decreased. eg, electricity is a cost that has increased dramatically that schools have to pay for.

OKBobble Fri 08-Mar-19 10:44:58

Even if the funding for your area has increased it may not be enough to pay for everything that also goes up. They still have buildings costs, maintenance costs, fuel bills etc all of which have gone up. So just like at home if your income goes up 2% but everything else goes up 5 % you have less!

Its not that hmm after all!

Weetabixandshreddies Fri 08-Mar-19 10:45:52

Funding has increased but not in real terms. So wages, pensions, utilities have increased more than the increase in funding.

Other costs - such as replacing resources to teach the new GCSE syllabus, increased pressure on pastoral care necessitating schools to provide staff to deal with social and welfare issues, dilapidated buildings cleverly off loaded in the creation of academies needed repairs and maintenance, requiring schools to meet the first £6000 of any SEN provision and then LA downplaying needs in the EHCP so avoiding funding the actual support required...It's a mess.

ThereWillBeAdequateFood Fri 08-Mar-19 10:50:49

Even if the funding for your area has increased it may not be enough to pay for everything that also goes up

What else is going up? Schools have always had to pay for text books and books. I’m not doubting the head teachers by the way. I’m absolutely sure there is a huge problem over funding.

Funding has increased but not in real terms. So wages, pensions, utilities have increased more than the increase in funding

Apparently the funding has gone up (a tiny amount) in real terms. This was on radio 4 this morning so I’m happy to be corrected on that.

thedisorganisedmum Fri 08-Mar-19 10:51:59

the biggest expense of a school is staffing. As well as the increase in ALL the costs as said above, it's very reasonable to teachers etc to have pay rise when deserved - and I am not sure most do as much as they should.

The financial problems will have to mean soon that parents need to be more involved financially, and should at least provide supplies. It might mean the school buy cheaper in bulk and parents pay for individual items, but they still need to get there.

Some schools have had to reshuffle the week so the school is closed to children on Fridays afternoon.

They all try various things to manage a budget far too small for the needs of the kids.

thedisorganisedmum Fri 08-Mar-19 10:53:18

Apparently the funding has gone up (a tiny amount) in real terms.
You might want to have a chat about it with your headteacher. Only very recently headteachers were demonstrating in downing street to complain about the lack of funding and try to get some help.

JammyDodgersandPeas Fri 08-Mar-19 10:53:54

Schools used to be able to replace textbooks when they needed to, and departments might be told "not this year, keep using the old ones". With the new GCSEs, you're talking about having to replace every textbook for all year 10 and 11s all at one. No opportunity to spread them out, and no ability to say use the old ones, as the GCSE courses have changed radically in some subjects.

TheCanyon Fri 08-Mar-19 10:54:22

Our schools physical resources are pretty pish i.e no rubbers etc in classes but the council are buying 9000 ipads for the 10+ kids.

Iggly Fri 08-Mar-19 10:55:33

Funding per pupil has not gone up enough.

Furthermore funding since 2010 has been cut in real terms so any increases now willhave to be massive to counter that effect.

Now who to believe.

Those on the front line teaching?

Or politicians who’ve always got an eye on the next election

hmm

FunnyTinge Fri 08-Mar-19 10:57:07

Pupil numbers are up, and there is inflation on wages and costs etc, so in 'real terms' (i.e. without inflation), money per pupil is lower now than it was, hence the funding crisis. The government changed the way money per pupil was calculated recently, so there are a number of schools who've had their budgets drastically cut, who are particularly affected.

I'm reasonably sure that the 'old' local education authorities would have coped a little better, but now many schools are academies or in small academy chains they're all suffering in isolation...

ThereWillBeAdequateFood Fri 08-Mar-19 10:57:33

the biggest expense of a school is staffing. As well as the increase in ALL the costs as said above, it's very reasonable to teachers etc to have pay rise when deserved - and I am not sure most do as much as they should

They so deserve a pay rise.

You might want to have a chat about it with your headteacher. Only very recently headteachers were demonstrating in downing street to complain about the lack of funding and try to get some help

I’ve no doubt there is an issue over funding at all. It looks like funding is the same (ish). So presumably costs are higher - one example being text books. Just wondering what other costs are increasing (and therefore putting pressure on funding).

crikeycrumbsblimey Fri 08-Mar-19 11:05:29

It hasn’t gone up in real terms - that is a lie. Remove the inflation we have had over the last 10 years and the same amount is being spent.

There are 9% more pupils than there were at the start.

Massive cut per pupil.

Plus giving money to dodgy academy companies, unnecessary syllabus changes, local council cuts which impact extra support, early intervention disappearing etc. Schools are picking up more

Chosennone Fri 08-Mar-19 11:06:28

The soundbite is simple 'Schools have never had so much money' so in real term my school has around £1000 more a year than it did 5/6 years ago. We have approxinately 52 more students now, some with significant SEN so clearly we have keas money per pupil. Less money in real terms.
We also have to pay an Apprentcieship levy out of the budget so that is a new cost. Our overstretched Pastoral team have also taken on the low level Social Care jobs that the MAT team used to do. So we're expected to do a lot more with a lot less.

Also ICT equipment quickly becomes obsolete and needs a lot of expensive maintenance. Defunct laptops, PCs fester in many school storages.

JammyDodgersandPeas Fri 08-Mar-19 11:08:24

The apprentice levy is now 0.5% of payroll, and the auto enrollment employer pension will rise in April to 3% of each staff member's wage.

Cupofcake Fri 08-Mar-19 11:09:38

Funding has NOT gone up in real terms. Of course the numbers rise. The school population is rising, the school leaving age has risen. It's all the government playing with numbers to make things look good.

All you need to do is walk through the average town centre and look around you to see that things in this country are not getting better for the average person and have got significantly worse for those who are less well off.

This puts a greater strain on schools' resources as they are on the front line and are forced to deal with the fallout from poverty, poor housing, poor parental health, stress, poor mental health, etc.

Weetabixandshreddies Fri 08-Mar-19 11:10:18

You need to also understand how funding works. It's paid per pupil but not until the April.

In our borough we had 3 or 4 years of a very low birth rate, but either side were very large birth rate years so you had the scenario of large numbers in years 11 - 8 and then a rapid drop off in year 7, which was manageable.

As the smaller year groups progressed through the school the funding decreased accordingly but we still needed to maintain staffing for the higher birth rate year groups in the upper school, whilst also being aware of the need to plan for higher numbers coming into the school in 4 years time.

We managed as best we could through natural wastage and not replacing staff though we didn't always loose staff in appropriate departments. Obviously running costs stayed the same despite lower pupil numbers and associated lower funding.

Given that the LA was very aware of the situation I do think far more financial support should have been given to schools, acknowledging this blip in pupil numbers and the very real increase in demand for school places that was on the horizon given the higher birth rates coming through plus vast amounts of new houses being built.

These pressures force schools into making unpleasant decisions - replacing experienced (expensive) staff with NQTs (cheaper), cutting number of subjects offered thus restricting choice, cutting school hours reducing PPA cover but passing burden to parents, cutting after school provision, not providing paper, exercise books, getting students to print worksheets at home etc.

Please don't believe the headlines that politicians spout. Education is in crisis and teachers are spending precious time manipulating dwindling budgets when they should be teaching.

cazzyg Fri 08-Mar-19 11:13:08

There are also issues such as pension funding gaps that www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/400a633e-c578-11e8-bc21-54264d1c4647

Theknacktoflying Fri 08-Mar-19 11:13:43

The headteachers have asked for a meeting with the minister of Education. Surprisingly too busy ...

That speaks volumes to me .

Cupofcake Fri 08-Mar-19 11:13:49

Plus giving money to dodgy academy companies
This is a huge problem and a magnet for many bloodsucking enterprises involved in rackets such as procurement companies sourcing very expensive equipment and charging a big fat commission for it.

Sirrah Fri 08-Mar-19 11:18:06

The only way to know the truth is to look at per pupil funding, and that has been cut over the last 8 years. All other figures are a smokescreen.

Weetabixandshreddies Fri 08-Mar-19 11:19:18

And the recent pay rise that was only partially funded by government.

There are so many associated costs that you don't think about - gas, electric, telephones, broadband, updating wifi to cope with all the technology, replacing old boilers and heating systems, burglar and fire alarms (new equipment and monitoring contracts - I couldn't believe how expensive this was when we had to replace it), switchboards, insurances, maintaining the lift (which is now impossible to repair as parts are no longer available but no money to replace it). All of this comes out of the per head funding, plus paying for the teachers, maintaining playing fields, decorating and up keep of the buildings, new IT equipment and on and on.

ThereWillBeAdequateFood Fri 08-Mar-19 11:20:43

Thanks so much for all the replies. Really appreciate it. Looks like a huge increase is costs with no corresponding increase in funding per pupil - which seems to have at best flattened off since 2013 (started falling now).

ThereWillBeAdequateFood Fri 08-Mar-19 11:23:22

The headteachers have asked for a meeting with the minister of Education. Surprisingly too busy

Well now you can’t expect the minister for Education to meet with Headteachers (sarcastic tone).

Merryoldgoat Fri 08-Mar-19 11:27:09

There is also the utter horror that is the increase in employers’ pension contributions coming up.

Contributions are increasing by over 7% in September and schools will only be funded for a year - after that they will fund themselves. A further increase of 7% taking employers’ contributions to 30% is expected in 4 years.

Schools will have to make wholesale redundancies, increaseclass sizes, use more TAs as lesson cover etc.

It’s absolutely disgusting.

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