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News - May/June 2017

Third of schools using funding for poorer pupils to plug gaps in budget

Third of schools using funding for poorer pupils to plug gaps in budget

ALMOST a third (30%) of heads say the funding they get for poorer pupils is being used to plug gaps in their school’s budget, according to polling published by the Sutton Trust.

As many as 32% of senior leaders in primary schools said they’re using their pupil premium funding in this way, slightly more than those who teach in secondary schools (27%).

The survey of 1,361 teachers, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research for the Trust, highlights how budget cuts are affecting schools across the country.

The research comes after the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that schools in England are facing their first real-terms funding cuts in 20 years, reductions that the Public Accounts Committee warn are threatening to undermine the quality of education in English schools.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of the secondary school heads polled said that their school had cut back on teaching staff to save money. Four-fifths (80%) said they had cut back on either teaching staff or teaching assistants and 50% said they had cut both.

While primary school heads were much less likely to report that their school had got rid of teaching staff (21%), over half (54%) still said their teaching assistants had been cut and over a quarter (29%) said their support staff had been cut back.

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