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Cuts to education as dire as NHS but less visible

(28 Posts)
noblegiraffe Tue 17-Jan-17 11:28:45

"schools are heading towards mass bankruptcy and the only government plan for solving it is optimism."

Coupled with a massive teacher recruitment and retention crisis that the DfE refuses to acknowledge, and Theresa May set on wasting millions of pounds, and (just as, and possibly even more important) people's time and energy on the vanity project that is grammar schools, does anyone have any faith in the government to sort this out?

StiginaGrump Tue 17-Jan-17 11:30:19


StiginaGrump Tue 17-Jan-17 11:31:47

Oh and the stress that the current system puts students and staff under is also contributing to the NHS burden - mental health issss at unprecedented levels in both.

noblegiraffe Tue 17-Jan-17 12:42:28

Schools are now supposed to be sorting out mental health problems too. FFS we don't even have enough maths specialists let alone mental health experts.

bojorojo Tue 17-Jan-17 12:53:36

I think the effectos of poor schooling have had a very detrimental effect on this country for years. Recent fundingissues are not new. I saw schoolsin the past with massive deficit budgets and staff redundancies. We just keep going round in circles.

Of course grammar schools will make no difference. I keep hearing references by the Brexit brigade to the fact we have a lot of people from Europe, and elsewhere, in this country doing basic caring jobs and far more complex, high value jobs. Apparently the Brits could do them. But they don't. If we had improved our educational offering years ago, we would not need so many people to come to the country and work for us.

We still need to enthuse young people about working and educate them appropriately. TM is not capable of this because her policies just focus on the children who will do well anyway. It is the others we need to focus on and aspiration too.

NotCitrus Tue 17-Jan-17 13:24:45

Friend has quit being a teacher in order to raise young kids. Schools who know her keep calling her up to ask her to cover Year X for her subjects for a bit (fair enough), but increasingly it's Y11/13 in subjects she knows diddly about.
Which suggests other years are just not getting taught at all.

admission Tue 17-Jan-17 15:25:25

Not sure that schools can become bankrupt. If the school is a maintained school then the school can only set a deficit budget with the permission of the LA. That is also supposed to be with a very clear plan as to how they will get out of the deficit within 3 years. In other words the LA civer the deficit because of the level of money flowing through their coffers. For Academy schools they are not supposed to go into deficit at all but it is not exactly a secret that the EFA have been bailing out schools.
Having said the theory there are many schools that are in deficit now and are being kept afloat by the EFA or their Local Authority. In many cases that is because the LA have not been hard enough on the schools to get their finances in order.
The crunch comes in 2018-19 and then 2019-20. In 2018-19 the new national funding formula is introduced with funding going to the LA and then passed onto the schools. In 2019-20, the EFA will be funding the schools directly and that is when the rug will be pulled from all those schools in LA control who are in deficit. What will happen is anybodies guess but will LAs who suddenly have no involvement in school funding allow the schools to continue at a loss? I think not, which will mean that it will all land in the EFAs lap.

HPFA Tue 17-Jan-17 15:49:45

It's a great article. This election may have some significance:

If Geoff Barton wins I can see Heads becoming a lot more activist. There's also this organisation just set up:

if anyone wants to do a bit of campaigning.

noblegiraffe Tue 17-Jan-17 16:21:39

This article has heads explaining the effects of the cuts they are having to make:

Schools are losing teachers, support workers, counsellors, having to drop courses, not able to train teachers to deliver the courses that they are offering. Pupils with SEN are not being supported adequately, kids with mental health problems are not being supported adequately, and school buildings are falling apart.

paediatricsaremything Tue 17-Jan-17 17:18:53

I've been in the NHS 30+ years our funding crisis did not happen over night, this has been coming since the Tories were voted in in 2010 and George Osborne embarked on his austerity plan. Apart from the BMA who tried to stand up against this government and our brave junior doctors were then vilified in the Tory press our unions are basically toothless and totally ineffective. We have now reached a point that no one ever thought we would reach, people are dying because they're simply isn't enough money to fund staff/care that people need and moral is naturally at rock bottom. I leave nursing this year having dedicated my career to it because I genuinely believe that a child will die because of the way we are now being forced to work. I would not be able to live with myself if this happens. We are all hoping that our government will come to its senses and intervene in this crisis, raising taxes is the only way to get the money that we so desperately require, if people want quality health care, an NHS that provides free healthcare to all regardless of background, illness age then we Jo Public will have to pay a lot more in tax this is very hard to sell to people.
I sure the situation in education is just as serious,
I'm writing this but I don't know what the solution is, somehow all of us who work in the public sector need to get a message across to those who don't that the situation is now beyond critical, the NHS is virtually dead, something is going to have to change, people need to listen, our government is simply lying to us about the state of the NHS and I'm sure education.

chosenone Tue 17-Jan-17 18:20:56

We were talking about this at heads of dept meeting this week. Apparently the national funding of schools that was meant to level everything out ... hasn't. We have always been in a strong position due to a prudent/frugal head and some natuaral wastage of expensive roles. We now stand to lose 200,000. Apparently 90% of schools are going to be worse off.

This isn't life or death though. If taxes had to be re directed, i'd prefer the NHS allocations were ring fenced. But parents/tax payers need to know what is actually going on in schools. The sheer amount of unqualified teachers, huge classes, support staff trying to do the job of social workers/mental health staff!

People need to get angry. Angry at the government. But many are angry at immigrants and benefit claimants instead angry

DoctorDonnaNoble Tue 17-Jan-17 18:27:14

They have done an excellent job at avoiding the issues they have created. Look at TM talking about the NHS, they refuse to see the mess they have created.

noblegiraffe Tue 17-Jan-17 23:56:19

One thing that struck me is that the system of comparable outcomes means that a slow failure of the education system won't be obvious from exam results.

We know that kids across the country are suffering from not having a proper maths teacher. There's a dire crisis. Yet the number of Cs is generally as predicted by KS2 results.

We know that the pass rate will fall dramatically this year, but that will be because of the new system.

We can't point to exam results and say 'look, it does matter that there aren't enough teachers to go around', because if the kids do worse, the grade boundaries are adjusted.

Lucycat Wed 18-Jan-17 19:18:02

As a result of this new 'fairer funding formula' I now teach in the worst funded local authority in the country. We are a high performing school in that LA but we have no money. We are teaching in a 1960s leaky building not fit for purpose, riddled with asbestos with windows that are painted shut - no new build here. We have lost 17FTE staff over the last 3 years, A level subjects are being cut and it makes me furious that this government thinks that our students are worth less than students in other areas - we have relatively few PP but that doesn't mean our kids are wealthy, most are far from it. People will only take notice when we can't afford to heat our school and pay our teachers for 5 days a week so we start sending kids home.

noblegiraffe Wed 18-Jan-17 19:50:38

They do seem to assume that if a school is high-performing it can basically run for nothing.

My school is similar, the buildings are in a terrible state (we were supposed to get a Building Schools for the Future new build and the Tories cancelled it and did nothing to make up for it, then cut our budgets!)

Class sizes are increasing and the number of TAs is decreasing. It's not good.

Lucycat Wed 18-Jan-17 21:02:04

And I then see how much money universities are ploughing into new buildings and facilities- perhaps we should charge £9000 a year per student instead of the £4000 that we do get. 😔

Growingpeopleme Wed 18-Jan-17 22:57:14

We are a group of parents in Kingston and Richmond. Our heads recently voiced their concerns in an open letter to government. We have set up an online petition to support them. I have also recently seen another group of parents who have set up another petition and heard of head teachers in other regions also making public their concerns. I fear for the future of our schools and our teachers. The pressure seems huge at the moment. Here is our petition If you would like to sign or share.

user7214743615 Thu 19-Jan-17 08:51:31

And I then see how much money universities are ploughing into new buildings and facilities- perhaps we should charge £9000 a year per student instead of the £4000 that we do get.

I'm not sure you would actually want to change places with universities. University buildings and facilities were and are in terrible condition. (In my university sewage leaks into lecture theatres, heating systems from the 1950s, broken roofs and windows are all common.) So much of the money that is being put into facilities is not a luxury, but paying for decades of neglect.

And of course the main reason why universities are putting money into facilities is because of the competition for students - vice chancellors judge that new facilities such as student unions will attract students. Paying university workers decent salaries is not a priority, quite the opposite. More and more academics are on very short-term, or zero hours, contracts. Academics pensions are now worse than those of teachers.

user7214743615 Thu 19-Jan-17 08:53:04

And BTW university education does cost more to deliver than school education. £9000 does not even cover the costs. If the PM really plans to cut further the numbers of international students coming to the UK (whose fees subsidise our kids education), then expect significant rises in university fees over the next decade.

HPFA Thu 19-Jan-17 18:46:41

Well, here's something to make Noble's Head explode. Grammar Heads think its unfair that they will get less funding than schools with more disadvantaged children

Sam Freedman has it about right

DoctorDonnaNoble Thu 19-Jan-17 18:52:21

That's not quite how we'd put it! We are losing a LOT of money having already been hammered with the changes to how sixth form study is funded.
We were never funded 'more' than our local schools.
Regardless, why shouldn't we protest about losing money. It doesn't mean we want the money to come from 'disadvantaged' schools.
London schools are the ones that have been 'over funded'. Why can't all schools be funded to that level given that it's been shown to work.
Don't fall for their divisive us and them narrative! All state schools are experiencing this funding rubbish together. I bet the state of my school would surprise you as you seem to imply we have a charmed life!

TalkinPeace Thu 19-Jan-17 19:33:57

DH is what schools term an "extra"
Schools have no money for extras
they have no money for enrichment
they have no money for widening curriculum
its awful

noblegiraffe Fri 20-Jan-17 08:41:45

Whilst I agree that if grammar schools want all the cash that schools stuffed with disadvantaged kids are swimming in(!) then they should seek to have more poor kids on roll, PP money should be an addition to basic school funding, not a requirement to be able to adequately run a school.

I was furious to read of yet another free school closing down (mid-year!) because it couldn't get enough pupils. What another colossal waste of money. How dare they tell us that there isn't enough money to adequately fund existing schools and pay teachers when they keep throwing millions at unnecessary or poorly thought-out free schools?

Crumbs1 Fri 20-Jan-17 08:54:52

The government policy of pandering to middle classes with the expensive ideological policy that is contrary to all evidence is outrageous. Free schools fiasco and calls for a return to selective education have hugely harmed other areas of education. The schools serving deprived communities (such as poor coastal towns) have been funded at a much lower rate than London schools for years. These schools are expected to,achieve same results with 60% less money and a more challenging population. So unfair - and that's before cuts. If middle classes want elitist education that actively damages the life chances of poorer children they should have to pay for it.

DoctorDonnaNoble Fri 20-Jan-17 17:16:30

I promise we don't want to steal your cash! And our catchment does cover deprived seaside towns. They don't tend to enter the exam (with notable/successful exceptions).
Anyway, that's not the point. If any of this was research based we'd all see an increase of funding to London levels.

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