UK school funding crisis threatens children’s basic education


UK school funding crisis threatens children’s basic education

Tom Pearce

26 March 2019

The funding crisis wracking UK schools is wreaking havoc across the country. Schools are being forced to manage their budgets in ways that did not seem imaginable a decade ago and taking desperate measures to balance their budgets.

At the annual conference of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), heads warned that there is a “£5.7 billion funding shortfall” that could leave many schools bankrupt.

Many schools have already cut administration staff and reduced extra-curricular activities on offer. There have been staff redundancies and pay cuts for many.

Exacerbating the problem of funding, the government put in place statutory pay rises at the start of the 2018-2019 academic year without providing additional cash to cover the cost of the paltry pay rise. Instead, schools have had to make choices about the standard of children’s schooling, inevitably leading to a detrimental effect on pupils and staff.

The education-funding crisis is moving into a new stage, where initial cuts to schools are now moving towards the destruction of basic educational provision.

A school in Stockport, in northern England, Vale View Primary, has taken the measure of closing early on Fridays due to a desperate situation created by the lack of funding. Even more shocking is the fact that parents who cannot pick up their children at lunchtime early are going to be charged.

The school is one of 25 that have taken the drastic measure of shortening the school week due to funding constraints.

When announcing the changes to School Week, Vale View Primary’s chair of governors attempted to mask the situation in a letter to parents by selling shutting early as a way of allowing them to…

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