Budget cuts mean that more than two-thirds of schools have started making staff redundant or are seriously considering doing so, new TES research indicates.
The survey of schools also reveals that more than half – 52 per cent – have cut the number of teachers at their institution in the past year. Only 6 per cent of respondents said that the number of teachers on their staff had gone up.
Teachers’ representatives said that the findings highlight the severity of the financial situation in schools. Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT headteachers’ union, said: “Making redundancies is always the last resort, but we are coming to breaking point. A number of schools are running out of money and have no other choice.”
The survey of 429 schools shows that 32 per cent have already made staff redundant and 38 per cent are seriously considering doing so. It also reveals that cuts are having a significant effect on teacher wellbeing.
Eight-two per cent of schools said that teachers were under more stress this year than last year and feared that this would force staff to leave the profession.
‘Bad for teachers and for children’
Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the NUT teaching union, said: “All of these things are being driven by funding cuts.
“These redundancies are bad for the teachers facing them but also for the children in those schools, as class sizes are going up and subjects are being cut.”
The survey uncovered a range of other side effects of reduced budgets, including teachers being forced to teach subjects for which they were unqualified.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Education is a priority for this government and we are continuing to invest billions into the sector each year.
“We have delivered on our manifesto commitment to protect the schools budget and, as pupil numbers increase, so will the amount of money in our schools.”
This is an edited article from the 27 May edition of TES. Subscribers can read the full article here. This week’s TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here