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!