School cuts – where?

The fine details of the Comprehensive Spending Review will soon be known. There have been all sorts of horror stories in the press but schools on average are expecting cuts in their budgets of around 10%.
Where should those cuts be? Should it be staff or services or resources?
In a lively debate on twitter concern was expressed that the 10% PPA time (Planning Preparation and Assessment) away from the class that every teacher is entitled to could be one of the casualties. Discussion around trying to move higher paid teachers out in favour of younger and newer colleagues highlighted the need for a spread of experience in a school. Will the additional help in classes (Teaching Assistants, SEN support, 1:1 support) be drastically reduced?
Staff training can be expensive so this was yet another area that was thought to be under threat. Teachers do not learn all they need to know at College. The changes and new initiatives that come into schools regularly mean that some sort of training is necessary if schools are to keep up with the latest developments.
Schools working together in a more collaborative way was also suggested. This type of support and exchange already goes on in some areas of the country. Should this be extended and encouraged? As the discussion was on Twitter, the use of the internet for staff development was highlighted with many contributors explaining how much they had learnt from their ‘virtual’ teachers. This approach would put pressure on schools maintaining high quality ICT systems and equipment. One of the quangos being removed  by the government is BECTA which provided much of the advice and support schools need in the market place today.
So, in the true spirit of the Big Society what do you think?
Whether you are a school leader or just a member of staff, where could your school make savings? If you are a parent, which areas would you be happy to see removed from your child’s education in order to save this money – breakfast club, after school activities, classroom support?
Leave a comment with your views and I’ll collate them and feed them back next week before we know exactly what we are losing!

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  • Jane Kilpatrick

    There are so many places in secondary where we could make cuts…
    1) We could get rid of all the HLTAs and stop doing work with students who have anger management issues or who are school refusers and need help to come in
    2) We could lose all of the TAs as all they do is work with students who need support in lessons and who can’t access the curriculum otherwise
    3) We could stop providing cover for staff who lead trips and make sure that students never see how their classroom learning applies to the real world
    4) We could cut any budget we have to bring in outside agencies to run fantastic off-timetable days and educate the students in SRE, Enterprise and the arts
    5) It would be easy never to bring in people from outside to run inset sessions and allow classroom practice to stagnate or at least not to be outward looking
    6) We could strive not to run those wasteful transition days where primaries and secondaries work together
    7) We could cut down on any student voice based activities where staff need to be off timetable to build powerful school improvement
    8) We could get rid of international work where money is wasted in expanding horizons for staff and students
    9) Extra-curricular clubs could be stopped and students could forget about opportunites which teaching and support staff can’t offer – like dance and drumming and pole-vaulting and and and
    10) Those annoying subsidised music lessons could be got rid of.
    All of 1-10 only represent the beginning. There is so much more that could go in order to streamline the system. I have no idea why we’re all getting so uptight about these small issues..

    • Anonymous

      You had me there at first! I couldn’t believe what I was reading! Great comment – thank you so much for stopping by!

  • Everything centrally! Outsource it all, most of it is paid for by us now anyway. Internally the only way to make 10% worth of cuts is to rationalise staffing, anyone who has ever set a school budget knows that 🙁

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