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NAHT Cymru

NAHT Cymru is the definitive voice of school leaders in Wales. We keep the best interests of children at the heart of everything we do.

Along with our colleagues in England and Northern Ireland, we are here to defend and extend the rights of our members, as well as provide advice, protection and support specific to school leaders throughout Wales

NAHT Cymru yw llais diffyniadol arweinwyr ysgolion yng Nghymru. Mae buddiannau gorau plant yng nghraidd popeth a wnawn.

Ynghyd â'n cydweithwyr yn Lloegr a Gogledd Iwerddon, rydym yn bodoli i warchod ac ymestyn hawliau ein haelodau, yn ogystal â darparu cyngor, diogelwch a chymorth sy'n benodol i arweinwyr ysgolion ledled Cymru.

NAHT Cymru launches survey report ‘A Failure to Invest: The state of Welsh school funding in 2021’

The impact of a chronic underfunding of Wales’ schools is laid bare by the findings of a NAHT Cymru funding study, “A Failure to Invest: The state of Welsh school funding in 2021”, launched on Tuesday 9 November.

Read the report in full in Welsh here and read it in full in English here.

Members of the school leaders’ union provided examples of the ways in which they have cut expenditure in attempting to balance their budgets. These include:

  • Reducing staff through not replacing vacancies
  • Reducing investment in equipment for schools
  • Delaying repairs or refurbishment; reducing maintenance budgets
  • Reducing investment in teacher training

Factors that school leaders say is causing pressure on their budgets include:

  • Providing increased support for pupils with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) (69 per cent)
  • Providing increased support for the mental health of pupils (41 per cent)

Almost all school leaders (92 per cent) reported that funding for pupils with SEND in their school is insufficient, and 94 per cent reported the ALN funding they receive is not sufficient to meet the needs of the new ALN legislation. A third (33 per cent) said they had to fund the purchase of additional support because they were not available or accessible from health and social care services.

More than three quarters (76 per cent) of school leaders said they do not have sufficient capital funding to maintain their buildings.

Nearly one in five (18 per cent) of school leaders surveyed predict a deficit budget in 2021/22 based on current funding levels, and 16 per cent of school leaders reported that they will need to make cuts to balance their school’s budget in 2021/22.

A total of 79 per cent of school leaders said that the cuts they are being forced to make will have a negative or strongly negative impact on the quality of their school provision.

NAHT Cymru President, Kerina Hanson, said: “Funding is crucial to the failure or success of many of the changes in education in Wales. However, without adequate funding, there is a risk that education reform will go very wrong.

“Education in Wales continues to suffer from a long-term funding crisis. It is time for education to be prioritised through proper investment and sustained support to ensure we can adopt and embed a world-leading curriculum.

“We are looking to Welsh Government to support the vision for Wales, to nurture a system in which innovation can thrive, to help schools deliver the support they need for their school communities, to value education as the way forward for Wales.”

NAHT Cymru Director, Laura Doel, said: “Our findings clearly tell us that schools in Wales need an urgent and sustained increase in school funding to ensure that the needs of all pupils are met.

“The new Curriculum for Wales and the Additional Learning Needs reform have highlighted the need for substantially improved investment to support these significant changes in education practice.

“And funds must be distributed in a direct, and equitable way, unlike the present bureaucratic and formula we that we currently have.

“We’re calling for a review of education spending in Wales to ensure the money we do have offers the best outcome for learners, and the review must include looking at the role and value of the middle tier structure.

“Crucially, schools should not be left to work in isolation. The Welsh Government must fully fund the health, local authority, social care and therapeutic services upon which pupils and schools rely. One in every three of our school leaders surveyed are having to buy-in support services that aren’t readily available to them from the NHS and care system.”

The report is based on NAHT’s survey of 160 school leaders across all regions of Wales in October 2021. The report was launched at a webinar on Tuesday, 9 November: watch the online broadcast here


First published 09 November 2021

Please give us your views  on the current consultations


Welsh Government

Independent review of school teachers pay and conditions in Wales

OPENED 18 January 2018 - CLOSES 1 March 2018

NAHT Cymru draft response of independent review

Support for doctoral study
OPENED 8 December 2017 - CLOSES 2 March 2018

The Education (Amendments Relating to Teacher Assessment Information) (Wales) Regulations 2018
OPENED 14 November 2017 – CLOSES 30 January 2018

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