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’. This really is creating a downward spiral for the education system and something needs to be done fast.
A statement from the School Cuts alliance of education union, they’ve said 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 that are in areas with a lower funding rate for each pupil will be affected the most, this includes schools in Reading, Isle of Wight, Bedfordshire, Essex, East Yorkshire, York, Derby and Milton Keynes.
With all of this said, there has been a rise in population by 4,500 pupils in England, showing the higher the population the harder it’ll be to fund for each pupil. Teaching assistant Lisa Bemister, who works at Kents Hill Junior School in Essex says: “it’s been a tough couple of years working as a teaching assistant, seeing the number of teachers that have been let go is such a shame. Not only that but it’s not giving the pupils what they need because of how little staff we have. There have been problems with the most standard things like books and paper which is obviously not right”.
… “I’ve also seen in some school’s 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 that the parents provide the children with stationary just because we didn’t have enough to go around for every pupil”
…” And have you noticed a drop in numbers of staff? Are there problems with getting staff to cover classes?”
“For the members of staff, we notice but for the students I like to think that it’s not as noticeable. The classes have been moved around so certain members of staff will have to teach more classes a day than others because there isn’t enough for every class”
A new research shown by the National Education Union (the newly merged National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers) and TES has shown that 94% of staff in the UK have paid for essential materials such as pens, paper, rulers etc, out of 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, other teachers have set up donations to raise money for essential 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 also been asked to supply their children with the essential equipment. This is really showing what the crisis has come too and how it’s affecting many people.
Education in the UK should be seen as a privilege as there are countries across the globe that can’t fund education at all. But with all this in mind, if they are going to fund education for the pupils, essential equipment like pens and paper should be supplied. 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.