The headteachers’ union, NAHT, have stated that many schools throughout England are considering cutting teaching hours or teachers themselves in a bid to save money. Of the 11,000 respondents to their survey, two-thirds have said they will have to make teaching assistants redundant, and half of them have said they will do the same to teachers.
Over the years, school funding has increased; four billion this year alone, to help with both recruitment and retention, however with teacher pay increasing year-on-year and energy bills raising fast, this funding is vanishing into the ether.
Of the respondents, that were mainly from primary schools, 54% said that they could only balance their budgets by making cuts which could include mental health counselling or extra help with students on a one-to-one basis.
We are at a point where headteachers have made the ‘easy cuts’ to their budgets and now, according to Paul Whiteman, NAHT General Secretary, ‘The only things left to cut are things that will have a real immediate impact on children.’
Extra-curricular and school trips are set to be axed in many schools to ensure that schools have the budget to cover the bills. With all of this going on, it is quite possible that teachers will be going on strike at some point; rejecting a 5% pay rise earlier last month citing the increase did not address lost-of-living pressures on teachers.
What do you think can be done to help tackle these issues?