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So, cuts in the Education Budget, what have you experienced first hand?

(29 Posts)
beachyhead Thu 05-Feb-15 23:24:18

This week, for the first time, we have seen a change in dd1's education budget and I'm interested to see the change people might have seen.. She is doing Art A Level at a state 6th form college and has been given a cut down A4 book cut in half by the staff to A5 to save money.

She, and a lot of the other students. feel that they can't really show their work properly in that format. I appreciate that Art might not be the the best subject to voice this on, but to me it's just an indication of what educational establishments are having to do.

Could you share your views?

noblegiraffe Thu 05-Feb-15 23:29:45

That's a bit weird, why don't they get the kids to buy their own art books?

My school, in common with most schools, I think, have had to make teachers and TAs redundant. We have less support and bigger class sizes. We have also had to cut some GCSEs and A-levels.

honeysucklejasmine Thu 05-Feb-15 23:33:01

Teacher redundancies and a more limited range of subjects.

beachyhead Thu 05-Feb-15 23:33:41

We have a budget that parents have to give if the students do two Arts A levels versus one A level Arts subject, but they were not given a choice about paying for better materials.

temperamentalamongcorvids Thu 05-Feb-15 23:36:57

I'm a teacher.

We no longer have access to training outside school or LA cluster. Reduced non -contact time. No supply cover. No class budgets, endless reminders about photocopying, fewer resources, we have to pay for basic janitorial work so lots of basic maintenance is left until it becomes seriously problematic, parents have to make a rota to grit playground and paths, unlagged pipes burst and cause floods, insufficient reading books, pupils in need of extra support not getting it....I could go on.

beachyhead Thu 05-Feb-15 23:44:44

Is that recent, temp or has it always been that way?

LuluJakey1 Thu 05-Feb-15 23:53:26

Secondary school in our LA has just made 15 teachers redundant. Maths, Art, ICT.

Another two secondary schools near us last year made ICT staff redundant - 3 in one school, 2 in another.

My DH's school has not renewed contracts for 8 TAs from August this year.

Secondary School in our neighbouring LA has lost 13 teachers over the last 2 years to redundancy or just not replaced them. Is now in Special Measures and does not have the specialist staff to teach the curriculum so standards are falling rapidly.

Falling numbers at secondary level across the north east are putting schools under huge pressures.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Fri 06-Feb-15 00:49:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

admission Fri 06-Feb-15 12:47:42

The real answer is that school's have been on an effective standstill budget for a number of years in terms of general finance. What extra funds have become available have gone into pupil premium funding which is not shared equally. Secondary schools have seen significant cuts to post 16 funding

Schools therefore have had to cut back but I question when I am in an LA which is significantly underfunded in comparison with many areas in London and elsewhere how schools get themselves into the mess that some posters are describing. Sorry but that sounds rather more like previous poor financial management than changes due to significant cut backs in funding.

If schools are struggling now they are going to be in for an even bigger shock in the future. Large increases in pension provision and NI costs will filter through from September as will next year's pay increases for inflation. Also activities previously run by LA at nil costs will either not happen or will be at a price, as LA budgets continue to fall. Conservatives have already announced a stand still budget for next 5 years in terms of £ per pupil, so this is in reality a 10% cut at current inflation rates over the 5 years.

Outcome is that schools will need to look carefully at budgets and reality is going to hit home. There is no extra money and staff expecting pay rises is simply going to end up with staffing cuts when 80% + of school budgets are staffing.

MillyMollyMama Fri 06-Feb-15 14:24:14

But in excess of 50 free schools have got the go-ahead even in areas where they are not needed. Many schools will suffer because of this mis guided policy. It is not just the announcement of likely budget cuts (7-10% depending who you believe) but the additional costs associated with falling rolls because of a new school that is not required. Free schools are expensive to set up and run so take money from existing schools. Labour will not close any free schools, as announced on QuestionTime last night, but hopefully someone will see the folly of spending money on these schools that are not needed.

We do not yet have our final budget for 15/16 so hard to judge at the moment. Schools with older, more expensive, teachers and a top heavy management structure will suffer most because that's the bulk of the budget and controlling it brings huge problems and upset.

TalkinPeace Fri 06-Feb-15 17:34:27

Large increases in pension provision and NI costs will filter through from September as will next year's pay increases for inflation

What increases in pension costs on the employer will there be?
The Teachers scheme is unfunded.

NI allowances are expected to go up for both EES and ERS and the change in the reduced rate happened last April.

The really scary one is that nobody has thought through buildings insurance for standalone Academy schools.
LAs did not have insurance cover.
At the moment the Dfe is under-writing it, but the day there is a big claim, all hell will break loose.

prh47bridge Fri 06-Feb-15 17:57:52

There are wide differences in school funding across the country. Schools in some LAs receive more than twice as much per pupil as schools in others. A recent study found no linkage at all between the level of funding and the school's performance. That doesn't necessarily mean you can go on cutting school budgets for ever with no effect but it does mean that pumping money into schools is not necessarily going to produce improved outcomes.

even in areas where they are not needed

Parents in areas where they are forced to send their children to failing schools may not agree with your definition of "not needed".

Free schools are expensive to set up and run so take money from existing schools

The cost of setting up a free school is a fraction of the cost of building a new school under the BSF programme. Once it is running the funding per pupil from central government for a free school is broadly the same as the funding per pupil for local LA-controlled schools. The only difference is that the LA is not top slicing the money.

At the moment the Dfe is under-writing it

To be more precise, academies receive funding for insurance, including buildings insurance, as part of their GAG. They can either insure commercially or opt into the DfE Risk Protection Arrangement at a cost of £25 per pupil per annum. Sounds pretty well thought through to me. I see no reason to believe that all hell will break loose when there is a big claim.

TalkinPeace Fri 06-Feb-15 18:02:10

They can either insure commercially or opt into the DfE Risk Protection Arrangement at a cost of £25 per pupil per annum.
That is an INSANE waste of money.
The cost of a teacher's salary replacing something that the LA did for free.

LuluJakey1 Fri 06-Feb-15 19:53:48

'Even in areas where they are not needed'

Totally agree. A failing independant school near us with debts of 10 million was allowed to become an academy and had its debts wiped out. They have since been promised another £10 million by the government to set up a sixth form. The government used public education money to pay off the debts of a failing private business.

This is in a local authority where the academy is between 4 outstanding secondary schools, and two good ones and there is a 12 % excess of school places - which has just been exacerbated by this academy being created. Other schools are now under threat of closure.

Their first Year 11 went through last summer and the school got them the worst value added scores in the whole local authority. They have already had two headteachers. They can not keep staff- people just walk out (I know because I have a friend who works there and who is a union rep). They refuse to take children with any special needs.

An Outstanding local nursery will now close because they have also been allowed to open a nursery.

Waste of money to satisfy socially ambitious parents who lke to see it as free private education and don't understand value added scores- they think their children did well last summer because they got 8 C grades. The comp they took the students from had outstanding value added scores and the children who stayed did much better than those who left.

Mr Gove's legacy.

MillyMollyMama Fri 06-Feb-15 20:29:40

It was the Council tax payers money that "insured" all schools previously. The insurance, or to be more precise, rebuild costs, is publicly funded whatever the scheme and whatever the school.

It may well be a cheaper solution to expand existing schools rather than have free schools. By not needed, I meant there were places not filled. The much cheaper option is to improve an existing school, not create another one if there are surplus places.

Caronaim Fri 06-Feb-15 20:34:44

cut backs on staffing, while the demands on staff increase, this is a totally false economy. Teachers burn out, and unions sue the schools for tens of thousands.

admission Fri 06-Feb-15 22:36:32

Talkinpeace, sorry but both individual teachers and the schools as the employers are paying into the pension pot. It might be considered unfunded but only in the sense that the contributions are not tied to a teacher's pension fund directly. There are also many staff who are not teachers and for them there is a defined pension scheme.
Caronaim, I accept that there are problems with teachers burn out but the teaching staff and unions need to get in the real world and understand that the days of plenty are now gone. We are about to go through a period of significant change in education no matter what government appears after April because the reality is that the funding simply cannot keep going up.

TalkinPeace Fri 06-Feb-15 22:44:03

Talkinpeace, sorry but both individual teachers and the schools as the employers are paying into the pension pot. It might be considered unfunded but only in the sense that the contributions are not tied to a teacher's pension fund directly.

Which bit of an unfunded scheme do people not get

Civil service, MOD, Teachers, NHS
your juniors and your students are paying your pension, not YOU

wish people would research

Caronaim Fri 06-Feb-15 22:52:59

admission, it costs far MORE to burn out teachers than to treat them reasonabley - the cost of teacher training alone is ridiculous when not even a quarter make it to 5 years.

The answer is simple, cut down the work load. Most of it doesn't contribute to education anyway.It has nothing to do with "days of plenty",

prh47bridge Sat 07-Feb-15 00:08:35

The cost of a teacher's salary replacing something that the LA did for free

An interesting definition of free. LA's in England abstracted around £1bn from GAG before passing it on to schools to fund the various services supplied to schools. That is considerably more than £25 per pupil. The RPA works the same way - academies opting in have £25 per pupil deducted from GAG. Note that the RPA is a range of insurances, not just buildings. It also includes things like Employers Liability, Governors Liability, Professional Indemnity, Personal Accident, Third Party Liability, etc.

noblegiraffe Sat 07-Feb-15 10:38:46

The number of teachers leaving the profession is the highest it has been in ten years. You can't simply treat teachers badly and demand that they don't quit, teachers have the free will to up and leave. The DfE then need to spend increasing amounts advertising for, recruiting and training new teachers.

admission Sat 07-Feb-15 12:00:41

TalkinPeace, are you saying that teachers and non-teaching staff in schools and the school as employer are not paying money out of their salary which is nominally for pension purposes?
All are paying in and the amount goes up from September.

admission Sat 07-Feb-15 12:12:05

I completely agree with you that the cost of teacher training is ridiculous and that the number leaving within 5 years is crazy. The reality is that the whole process is wrong. Having been on the receiving end of seeing student teachers who were completely unsuited to be teachers and never were going to be capable of being a competent teacher, there is a need for a complete re-appraisal of the way that students are selected and trained - we need to find the 25%, who do make it to the 5 year mark and ditch the majority of the rest before the start of the training. In-house long term training in schools has got to be the way forward so that the students recognise the difficulty of the job from the very start.
Burn out of experienced teachers is a very different situation and there is a need to work out how this can be minimised. The level of funding coming into schools does not equate, in my opinion, to burn out, that is always going to happen as things currently stand, no matter the level of funding going into a school.

noblegiraffe Sat 07-Feb-15 12:20:13

Admission, while there are severe teacher shortages in several areas, the DfE can't afford to turn potential teachers away. They need the possible 5 years they will get out of them because it will be better than having teacher vacancies.

If you have a maths/physics qualification and a pulse, they won't appraise your effectiveness and potentially turn you away, they will shower you with money and rip your arm off.

TalkinPeace Sat 07-Feb-15 14:09:24

EmployEEs pension contributions are going up. EmployERs are not.
So the total cost of employment is unchanged.

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