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Government says education spending is at its highest ever at £40 billion yet 'small' school are under threat....so where is the £40 billion going?

(47 Posts)
MillyDLA Sat 05-Nov-16 11:40:49

And even more worrying a 'small, school is 200 children!

Personal and local experience is of many primary schools being less than 200. Making larger schools and sharing staff isn't always a reality given large rural counties with a spread out population.

MillyDLA Sat 05-Nov-16 11:42:46

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-37860682

DoctorDonnaNoble Sat 05-Nov-16 11:49:53

Some has gone on increased wages for support staff (increase to minimum wage). Some has gone on increased pension contributions for all staff. A lot has gone on constant changes to exams (and therefore text books etc) in recent years. There's also been changes to funding at 6th form that have affected some schools more than others.

MillyDLA Sat 05-Nov-16 14:38:54

And £2million wasted on unopened schools

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37833390

eddiemairswife Sat 05-Nov-16 14:44:55

And I suppose a lot has been spent on setting up academies, not to mention that we have a rising school population.

QuackDuckQuack Sat 05-Nov-16 15:56:34

There is massively unequal funding between counties. And it may well be the counties that are underfunded on a per pupil basis that have more smaller schools.

TwigTheWonderKid Sat 05-Nov-16 16:03:08

You can look at individual schools' projected loss of budgets here:
www.schoolcuts.org.uk/#/

BackforGood Sat 05-Nov-16 16:15:33

More children in the country now than years ago
Everyone has to stay in education until they are 18
Far more TAs (and other support staff - learning mentors, pastoral support, etc.) than years ago
smaller classes than years ago.
Cost of the support staff has gone up in recent years - through NLW and through having to contribute to pensions
Curriculum changes every 5mins - cost of reviewing and implementing all those changes
Cost of IT that didn't exist until recently
Rise in the numbers of complex chidren
Decorating and refurbishing the DofE......

prh47bridge Sat 05-Nov-16 16:43:50

The figure for the current year is actually £38B of which roughly £27.3B goes on schools. The remainder goes on tertiary education, adult education, subsidiary services, etc.

The schools budget has risen from £18.2B in 2011-12 to a planned £27.3B this year.

Small schools have been under threat for as long as I can remember.

MillyDLA Sat 05-Nov-16 18:03:31

So money planned for schools has risen yet schools are closing or having to share staff? Are children benefitting from the governments 'increase' to spending on education?

TeacherBob Sat 05-Nov-16 18:18:47

Most schools i know are laying people off.

I found that website interesting. It shows most schools around our local area taking a 1% loss and my school taking a 12% loss. And there is me hounding my headteacher for money for an outside classroom and new books.
I better stop!

QuackDuckQuack Sat 05-Nov-16 21:29:36

The "increased funding" looks like sleight of hand rather than genuine increases. There are so many ways to pretend that money is increasing. Ignore rising pupil numbers, inflation, higher pension contributions etc. Pick your numbers carefully and you can sound persuasive.

admission Sat 05-Nov-16 21:44:14

But you do need to look at the basis of the calculations on this website. Firstly it is run by the NUT and ATL, who are the two most militant trade unions in teaching.
Secondly the figures for my school where I am chair of governors are just wrong. It says we will lose £116000 of funding (8%) by 2020 which is not true, in fact this next year our funding will increase because we have more pupils than this current year.
When you look at the way that the figures have worked out then you realise that they are not talking about funding reductions they are talking about real term reductions. In other words if we keep the school's current costs and inflate them by the 8% that they are talking about by 2020, the supposed reduction in funding is actually the level of extra funding required to ensure that everything stays the same.
It is time for schools to realise that they have had it easy over the last 10 years and they have seen real term funding rises which most other people in employment have not seen. Actually whilst teachers have been until recently been getting real term rises, most of the support staff have seen little or no rise, which to my mind is inequitable.
Things are going to get difficult financially in schools and no-one is disputing that. Now is the time for realism, real time rises are not realism and teachers need to understand that. School governing bodies need to set realistic budgets that are based on the level of funding that they will get, which is likely to be the same in £ terms until 2020. Everybody needs to accept that means cutting back on things like unsustainable pay rises and a level of frugality in terms of everything to do with the school, like not so much new equipment, reducing the level of photocopying done in the school and do we actually need to have classes of 20 when most schools operate at 30 primary school pupils to a class.

bojorojo Sat 05-Nov-16 21:46:18

There are savings to be made by schools federating. The problem is that religious schools will not federate with state schools. I have a friend who is a governor of a C of E primary in Cumbria with no reception class and no year 1. No children have started at the school in 2 years. It clearly needs to federate with the school in the next village but as it is a Church school, the Diocese says no. Everyone will leave if they are not careful!

The cost of setting up free schools where they are not needed is very wasteful. Lack of planning costs money. The academy programme is more about shifting the deck chairs but the free schools are expensive and rob all other schools of funds.

The increase in pension payments was taken from our budget and not funded. Our LA has always been a low funding authority but few schools have deficit budgets. Pupil premium has redistributed income and schools with few pp students are feeling the pinch.

The school population has increased and so has the need for Post 16 education. These policies have eaten up most of the extra spending.

noblegiraffe Sat 05-Nov-16 23:45:46

Everybody needs to accept that means cutting back on things like unsustainable pay rises

Teachers haven't had a decent pay rise in years and their pay is significantly lower than other graduates.

Why is it that teachers and schools need to 'realise' that they have to cut stuff like resources that will be used to teach the kids?

Why is it not the bloody government that needs to realise that it can't keep pushing through dramatic changes to the curriculum without funding them, it can't throw out stuff like 'everyone who fails maths or English needs to resit in 6th form' or change syllabuses every time the education secretary changes meaning textbooks are obsolete within a year. They can't make demands like schools switch to a mastery curriculum requiring training and resources and except it to be done for free. They can't expect schools to continually improve on less and less money. They absolutely should stop spunking £25k-30k on bonuses for training to be a maths/physics teacher when that teacher will most likely quit within a few years or never start teaching at all. They should save money on teacher training by stop pissing off experienced staff so much that they leave in droves, leaving schools with no option but to hire supply teachers from expensive agencies. They should stop expensive and unnecessary time-consuming bollocks like reintroducing grammar schools and setting up free schools in areas that don't need them and they should absolutely have some sort of financial oversight of academy chains now that we know they keep being caught fiddling the books, or having heads pay themselves outrageous salaries.

Then, maybe then we can look at reducing photocopying costs.

FFS.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 06-Nov-16 06:55:57

And again we agree Noble.
It is nonsense to say we've had it easy the last ten years. Just plain nonsense.
Have we wasted money? Yes, we wasted money on the books we needed for IGCSE and now we have to change (half way through the course) as the very government who said we could do it have changed their mind. Again. This is what needs to change. I work in two departments. In one of those departments we have been working without proper resources for over a decade. This is in one of 'the best state schools in the country'.

TeacherBob Sun 06-Nov-16 08:26:26

I have always thought that Education should never be run by the government and that the teaching agency should be behind the curriculum and exam changes etc with no political interference.

That way, we wouldnt have expensive and forced changes on us every couple of years when governments start feeling the heat (or get voted out)

TeacherBob Sun 06-Nov-16 08:26:31

I have always thought that Education should never be run by the government and that the teaching agency should be behind the curriculum and exam changes etc with no political interference.

That way, we wouldnt have expensive and forced changes on us every couple of years when governments start feeling the heat (or get voted out)

MillyDLA Sun 06-Nov-16 09:48:55

And the notion that schools can share staff. Just how practical is that when your nearest school is a large primary that doesn't need to share staff or an academy that won't share as it only works with its own academy staff. How practical is it when the nearer small school is 20 mins away. How does a teacher leave their own class to teach someone else's or take time to support staff development elsewhere? How practical is it to expect children to be transported to another class 20mins away, to allow for shared learning? All of the above also costs money. School staff all have full time jobs in their own school, there isn't any non contact time in a primary school that can be used to work with other schools. At the moment any shared work teachers do is by leaving their own class or extra at the end of a school day.

In some areas small schools are being closed. This is financial. Children will have to travel further to their next nearest when their nearest might be a 30 mins drive. Public transport doesn't exist, school transport funding has been cut. Communities are being desimated by the lack of a village school.

user7214743615 Sun 06-Nov-16 13:17:32

Teachers haven't had a decent pay rise in years and their pay is significantly lower than other graduates.

Is the pay really lower than that for other graduates in the pubic sector doing jobs requiring similar qualifications? Hasn't all the public sector been hit by pay freezes? Haven't other areas in the public sector also been hit by increases in pension contributions?

Salaries for headteachers/deputy heads certainly look huge in comparison with salaries for comparable jobs elsewhere in the public sector. (For example, an academic running a department with a budget of 15-20 million, 1000+ students, 100+ staff, expected to carry on their own world leading research as well, could easily be on 70-80k, lower than a typical secondary school headteacher.) I do appreciate that headteacher salaries bear no relation to classroom teachers' salaries - but would teachers here agree that SMT salaries should be lower across the whole sector? (Not just some academies.)

I completely agree with the wasting of money via curriculum changes, bonuses to starting teachers, free schools, grammars etc. And I know of some maths/physics graduates who signed up for teaching training to get the cash to pay off a chunk of their student loans. They have no intention of staying in the profession for long.

QuackDuckQuack Sun 06-Nov-16 13:42:15

I'm not convinced that smt pay should be lower. There is enough difficulty filling many HT posts without decreasing their pay.

noblegiraffe Sun 06-Nov-16 13:44:23

There is a danger in only comparing wages to other public sector jobs and then wondering why you can't get any qualified maths/physics teachers.

If it is to be accepted that public sector jobs are paid less than private sector ones, then there have to be perks associated with public sector jobs. You can't rely on people wanting to trade financial benefits for the 'joy' of public service. The argument was always that the public sector had better pensions, holidays, job security and so on. As these have been eroded (yes I know pensions are still better but not as good as they were), nothing else has improved so the pay argument becomes more relevant when you're looking at people with skills who could easily get jobs elsewhere.

MillyDLA Sun 06-Nov-16 13:53:50

Headteacher salaries in maintained schools (non academies) are set by the size of the school against a national standard. The gap between being a teacher with an extra responsibility point(top of the main scale) and a headteacher of a small primary is around £3,000 pounds.

In my experience head teachers and Local authority staff earn less than some head teachers and chief executives in academy chains. For instance a CEO responsible for a chain of 5 primary schools has his own new office, new furniture, smart screen on the wall, earns £100,000 per year. Secondary based academy chain, CEO leads 4 other schools, salary of £130,000. Compare this with an LA lead for primary schools, shared public office, certainly no 'trimmings', responsible for just over 300 schools and earning £67,000. If this staff member was replaced with the required number of CEO's given the salaries above, this alone would suck money in vast amounts from the education system.
If the money is going to the 'Chiefs' children aren't going to benefit!

user7214743615 Sun 06-Nov-16 17:21:53

There is a danger in only comparing wages to other public sector jobs and then wondering why you can't get any qualified maths/physics teachers.

I agree, but there is also danger in specific public sector professions arguing for higher pay for themselves, when the real issue is that all public sector pay is being eroded and all public sector "perks" have long since been removed or watered down. (Pensions are a joke in many areas now.)

It is for example very hard for many of my (public sector) colleagues to feel much sympathy with teachers' pay, when they themselves work very long hours in stressful jobs, have many years of higher education (PhD etc), years of experience and yet get given lower salaries than a teacher of the same age, temporary contracts ending every 12 months, have to move around the country with no moving expenses etc etc.

noblegiraffe Sun 06-Nov-16 18:01:50

I don't know if there's a severe recruitment and retention crisis in other areas of the public sector?

There's also the issue that failures in the compulsory education system cause the need for more money further down the line (adult education, shortages of skilled workers, increased burden on prisons etc). Can the government afford not to invest in education?

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