Schools funding “no clearer”

Date: Friday 23rd June 2017

A HEADTEACHERS’ union representative has said the funding situation facing schools is no clearer after the Queen’s Speech.

Graham Frost, Cumbria branch secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, commented in the wake of the state opening of Parliament on Wednesday.

Certain measures in the Conservative manifesto have been dropped but changes to schools funding remain on the cards. Mr. Frost said the speech mentioned making school funding “fairer” but “no detail” was provided, nor was there any commitment to “fully funding schools on a real-term basis”.

He said: “Previous announcements on school funding have referred to cash-term increases to overall spending on education. This does not take account of the increased cost pressures on Cumbria’s schools arising from cuts to other services such as health, social care and building maintenance, increases in national insurance contributions and additional costs such as the apprenticeship levy.”

Schools are having to make cutbacks, including redundancies or not replacing departing staff in order to balance their budgets, he said.

Secondary schools might drop some subjects and special needs places in primary schools could suffer, he added.

Mr. Frost has meetings scheduled with several Cumbrian MPs, and said he was “encouraged” at their “determination” to understand the challenges facing schools.