Schools having to prioritise cost-cutting over quality of children’s education - finds ATL/NUT survey

Funding pressures are already biting in schools in England, affecting the quality of children’s education, and parents are being asked to make up the shortfall according to a joint survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and National Union of Teachers (NUT).

One respondent, a teacher in a primary school in Essex, said: “Over the last two years, the ethos of the school has changed from being based on a family atmosphere to being driven by cost-cutting."

In a survey of nearly 1,200 teachers, support staff and heads carried out in March, the key findings are that during this school year:

  • three-quarters (76%) said their school’s budget has been cut this year compared to last year;
  • 93% are pessimistic about their school’s funding over the coming three years;
  • half (50%) said their school has bigger class sizes than last year, rising to 70% of secondary respondents;
  • 60% of secondary staff (excluding don’t knows) said their school has cut the range of non-EBacc subjects and 64% said there are fewer vocational options.
  • a quarter (24%) of secondary staff said their school has cut teaching hours for courses;
  • 73% said their school has cut spending on books and equipment (73% in secondary schools and 74% in primaries);
  • nearly half (46%) said their school has cut spending on ICT;
  • 41% said their school has cut special educational needs (SEN) provision (38% in primary and 44% in secondary); and
  • 18% said their school has cut support for English as an additional language (EAL)

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