Commenting on a report by Ofsted published today (Friday 21 February 2020) looking at school funding, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“In this new report Ofsted says clearly that schools are ‘under significant financial pressure’. We can be in no doubt that Ofsted thinks school funding is insufficient and that this is having a negative impact on young people. The Chief Inspector’s comments are impossible for the government to ignore. So close to the Budget, it will be difficult for the new Chancellor to talk about ‘record levels of school funding’ when the government’s own school inspectorate reports that forty-two per cent of primary leaders and forty-eight per cent of secondary leaders say that their schools will be in debt by the end of the 2019–20 budget year.
“I disagree with the Chief Inspector’s assertion that schools have made poor choices about funding, when other, better decisions were possible. School leaders do not ‘squander’ money. They are infinitely resourceful at getting the most out of every penny. They have to be, because the school funding picture in the UK is anything but ‘plentiful’. Schools have faced 8 per cent real terms cuts since 2010. It is only school leaders’ effective financial control that have kept schools afloat during this time. System-wide, school leaders have demonstrated their good judgement time after time. Their good judgement, has shielded many staff and pupils from the worst effects of the cuts, often at great personal cost to themselves.”
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