Budget cuts(23 Posts)
I am a parent governor and we have been asked to approve some significant cuts as our budget is being slashed. It's all over the news anyway, I was expecting to have to make some tough decisions but it's beyond what I was expecting.
Can I ask, In your school, on a scale of 1 to 10, how significant are those cuts? Which parts of the school are being mostly affected?
I am just looking for guidance and just to help me see clearer really. It's so hard. Thanks.
TA hours have all been cut. Much less money for resources and maintenance/replacement of IT equipment for both pupils and teachers.
We are in a very poorly funded county anyway, so cuts are really hard to manage.
Been at my current school six years.
TA hours haven't been cut as we only have the hours required by EHCP now anyway... "spare" TAs fell by the wayside about four years ago. However, we now have to pay for the first eleven hours of an EHCP (used to be six... then eight...). This is on top of, and before general school budget cuts have to be made.
Class sizes growing to over 30 - in a school where the rooms are actually BUILT for 20! Retired teachers not replaced and compulsory redundancies in response.
Department budgets cut by 1/3-1/2 (the year all the syllabus changes came in!)
School pool closed indefinitely, arts block mothballed to save energy - music, drama and art now taught in empty due to timetable rooms. So. Much. Noise. And mess!
Increase in unqualified teachers by 20% in the last two years alone...
Only two technology options now.
Now only offer one language.
No more dance, land based science, product design, photography or GCSE P.E.
Thermostat turned down three degrees.
No money for ICT investment - teachers now purchasing and using their own computers as ancient school laptops die.
One photocopier for an entire high school. One.
Admin support reduced by half.
AND WE ARE STILL BLOODY SKINT - and about to get skinter!
I am so worried about our school. I am looking at the budget and I KnOw there is no way we can come to a decision that won't directly affect the children's education. Are the government forcing all schools to go in the red and eventually force them to become academies? Is that the plan? Because our school will be in the red. We are one form entry so we can't exactly cut a teacher!
I posted on Chat about how the cuts are affecting people's children's schools.
Got 8 responses.
I don't think parents care, or perhaps they simply don't realise what an impact it will make.
My dc's school may have a budget cut of 1K per child.
I think everyone is too busy looking at Brexit and we are avoiding the very large elephants in the room - massive cuts to Schools and destruction of our NHS!
My DSs primary have had to let a TA go and a lunch supervisor. PE is now being done by staff and not the outside company previously used and the price of afterschool care has gone up 100%.
The high school has dozens of job vacancies advertised across most subjects to start at the bottom of the pay scales. Some of the long serving staff would be very expensive at their current rate. Ive been told
gossip from the other parents that top rate staff are being encouraged to retire/move on so cheaper staff can replace them.
Extra curricular activities are now charged by the school where they used to be free. The free school buses are being replaced by the public bus service. The school used to provide free buses from some outlying villages that were added to the catchment due to the high number of pupils from there but the catchment area no longer covers these villages so the school will no longer pay for the buses.
Parents have been asked to make a monetary donation to cover the cost of resource materials. Text books are no longer purchased for every pupil. We have a book list sent home to buy our own for our children.
I believe the high school needs to save around £800,000. These changes I mentioned wouldn't cover that so there's got to be other things like hire purchases and maintenance contracts to be looked at too.
My school has stopped paying TAs for lunch/break duties (teaching staff were not paid anyway). Everyone has to do an extra compulsory duty a week.
Lunch duties used to also get a free meal - that's gone now.
Less TAs and the ones we do have to less hours. In one class, I have 6 children with ASD and only one TA!
Department budgets cut massively so no money for photocopying unless it's vital.
I think they are also looking to cut some support staff jobs next year and we have gone from two to one deputy heads since one retired in Summer.
I and many others do our printing/copying at home for lessons to try and give pupils the best we can. Extra curricular clubs are run by staff for free and those staff often pay for materials themselves,again to try and give pupils the best we can.
A lot is done by staff for free out of their goodwill but it only goes so far!
Has the board of governors looked at revenue raising opportunities rather then dwelling on cost reductions?
Our school "let out" their gym to a local dance school under licence to use for agreed hours outside the school day and at weekends, which brings in several thousand pounds of pure profit (after the extra overheads such as power), and also generates revenue from the vending machines in the gym. At the last count, the net revenue generated was estimated to be around £15k p.a. which isn't bad for nothing really, just wear and tear which is light anyway with it being a dance school. They also let out their assembly hall and nearby classrooms for an annual model railway exhibition which is another thousand per year. And they also rent out their all weather pitches to local football and other sports clubs which brings in another few thousand over the year. So, that's over £20k per year from just use of the land/buildings. I believe they're currently in conversation with a local amateur dramatic group for them to use the school's drama facilities as rehearsal rooms, which is another income source throughout the year.
To increase income
Try to generate more hire bookings
Increasing pupil numbers from this sept we will be 12 for entry rather than 11.
Learning support staff
All either redundancies, reduced hours or not replacing leavers.
There are more but I can't remember them off the top of my head.
Deliberate policy to bully experienced staff so that they leave which will save on redundancy payments and replace them with NQTs at half the price. I kid you not, it does not matter how good you are in the classroom, if you are experienced then in my school you are vulnerable. The Head has got rid of a number of staff this way already this year, a number were outstanding teachers and we are due OFSTED this year - it is sheer madness.
Not replacing support staff that leave
All new teaching posts capped at M3
Faculty budgets slashed
Larger tutor groups
TAs gone and replaced with volunteers and fighting other local schools for intake, (everyone has spent on advertising, which never used to happen).
The situation nationally is reaching breaking point (as is the NHS), Brexit is making everything worse as we reduce corporation tax rates and income from the banking sector means there is less to spend on public services. Tories will not invest in the welfare state or education - they never have.
In my high school:
No dedicated First Aider anymore
Support staff cut to the bone
Reduced opening hours of school reception
Photocopying budgets slashed to virtually nothing
Very few trips running as depts can't afford the cover
All afterschool and breakfast revision classes are expected to be delivered unpaid
Heating goes off at 1pm
Deliberate policy to bully experienced staff so that they leave which will save on redundancy payments and replace them with NQTs at half the price.
Yep, I have seen this happen a lot locally.
We have a phocopying limit and printing/ paper ban-teachers tend to use their own paper and print at home. We have been buying our own glue and pencils for ages anyway.
LSAs will be losing jobs-though they don't know it yet.
We have no SLT support-one deputy but she is now in the classroom full time and is also responsible for pupil premium, SEN, assessment, literacy and maths so has NO time at all.
Your post says that We are one form entry so we can't exactly cut a teacher
But schools around here are doing just that-having no teacher and the class is taught by a full time TA who is paid peanuts and is obviously not qualified!
What age the suggestions your head has come up with, OP?
This is v depressing. I am doing my PGCE at the moment and currently looking for a job. Will pupil premium be cut? A lot of the schools I have been in get quite a lot of money from that.
What do the conservatives hope to achieve by these cuts? The conversion of all of the schools to academies...?
myschool Good luck in making these tough decisions.
I've just been reading this-it says a lot of the same things we've all been saying
Yes, precisely that. The conversion of all schools to academies, so that private investors can make money and local authority control is diminished.
Today, I thought about the famous 'Education, education, education' speech and the Every Child Matters policy. Remember those days....
That article is pretty depressing.
I could weep for my own profession, but also my DD going through the system in a time of such chaos.
My DD9 was crying today because she finds year 4 'really boring' because they 'don't do anything fun anymore', and I started thinking of all of the progressive schools of the 60s and 70's with nostalgia. I don't want our schools to be corporate academies, where they do 'blended learning' on computers all day. I want her painting and running around and building dens! <hippy>
My y4 hates school-I find it so sad. I can honestly say that I loved primary school!
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