Huge crisis around the UK forcing secondary schools to cut members of staff meaning bigger classes and less individual attention for pupils
Many secondary schools across the UK have hit an all time low as they are forced to ditch a total of 15,000 members of staff over the past 2 years. This is resulting to £2.8 billion of ‘real-term funding cuts in schools’. A statement from the School Cuts alliance: “the situation in funding is highly likely to get worse, meaning it’s estimated that nine in 10 junior and secondary schools (17,942 in total) will have a funding cut during 2015-2019”. The schools in areas with a lower funding rate will be affected the most, this includes Reading, Isle of Wight, Bedfordshire, Essex, York, Derby and Milton Keynes.
There’s been a rise in population by 4,500 pupils in England, showing the higher the population the harder it’ll be to fund each pupil. Teaching assistant Lisa Bemister, who works at Kents Hill School in Essex says: “it’s been a tough couple of years working as a teaching assistant, the number of teachers that have been let go is a shame. It’s not giving the pupils what they need because of how little staff we have. There have been problems with standard things like books which is obviously not right”.
… “I’ve seen in school’s that parents have had to provide the equipment for their children, does that apply here?”
“At the start of the year, we sent out letters recommending they provide their children with stationary just because we didn’t have enough to go around”
…” Have you noticed a drop in staff? Are there problems with getting staff to cover?”
“For the staff, we notice but for students I think that it’s not as noticeable. The classes have been moved around so certain staff will have to teach more classes a day than others”
New research shown by the National Education Union and TES has shown that 94% of staff in the UK have paid for essential materials such as pens and paper out their own pocket. This shows that for some teachers, it’s rinsing them of their wages, some have spent thousands.
While some are spending thousands, others have set up donations to raise money for equipment that the school aren’t providing. 42% of parents across the UK were asked to give money to the school this year and have been asked to supply their children with equipment. This is showing what the crisis has come too and how it’s affecting many people.
I went and spoke to a concerned parent (who requested to stay anonymous), who’s child is being effected by the cash crisis. She said: “I’m aware that my child isn’t getting the help he needs down to the lack of support staff there is in the school, it’s definitely got a lot worse since he joined the school. He suffers with dyslexia so the school knows that he needs extra help in certain areas and because of the drop in staff, he is struggling more than he should”.
Education in the UK is a right and therefore they need to be providing essential equipment like pens and paper to every student. This could affect pupils learning due to a shortage in staff and no 1 on 1 sessions available, especially effecting the ones who have difficulty in learning.
With many schools across the country suffering from education cuts, it has caused a huge disadvantage to teachers, parents and especially the students. We can only hope that there will be a resolution for the schools in the cash crisis as it has become evident that this cannot go on.