A new poll published today (Thursday 18 April) by the Sutton Trust shows that over two-thirds (69%) of secondary school heads have had to cut teaching staff to save money.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, the union which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said: “This report is yet more evidence that school budgets are at breaking point, and the impact of that is directly affecting the quality of education and support schools are able to provide children.
“The Sutton Trust’s figures almost exactly chime with NAHT’s. Our last member survey on funding, Breaking Point, revealed that 86% of school leaders had had to cut teaching assistants, and more than a third (37%) had cut teaching staff. 65% agreed that cut backs had already had a negative impact on the performance of their school.
“And it is the most vulnerable in our society who are adversely affected. The Sutton Trust show that Pupil Premium money is being used for basic staffing and teaching costs rather than enrichment activities to narrow the advantage gap. In NAHT’s Empty Promises report, looking at the impact of funding cuts on SEND education, 73% of school leaders said cuts to teaching assistants and pastoral staff have had a major impact on schools supporting their most vulnerable pupils.
“The government cannot avoid this issue any longer. Our system is failing the most vulnerable pupils, at the most critical time in their lives. Only new money from the Treasury will solve the school funding crisis.”
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