By Gavin Mackintosh And Nikki Greener-
British Schools need at least an extra £4bn in funding to assist the financial challenges they face, Mps have been informed.
Headteachers and union leaders have told MPs that schools need between £4 billion and £8 million added to their annual budgets to help them cope with rising costs. The news comes as a surprise after the huge amount of money the government has put into education funding so far.
Witnesses from the school community appeared in front of the parliamentary education committee to give their estimates for the increase to the core schools budget that’s needed. The core school budget currently stands at its highest level of £42.4 billion.
Robert Halfon, who chairs the education committee, said a 10-year strategic funding plan for education, similar to that granted to the NHS is desperately needed to fill in important voids. The British government has injected millions of pounds into education this year alone, but school bosses say the money is merely scratching the surface. Valentine Mullholland from the NAHT school leaders union said:
“We need to be really clear that to some extent there’s so much uncertainty about the extra costs the government is going to pile in,” warned Valentine Mulholland from the NAHT school leaders’ union.Stephen Tierney, the chair of the Headteachers’ Roundtable, said schools needed an annual uplift of £4 billion, while Mulholland said the sector needed “a couple of billion” over and above the £2.7 billion needed to reverse the real-terms cuts seen in recent years.
Darren Northcott, a national officer with the NASUWT teachers’ union, said £5 billion “would go a long way to making up the deficit that we have seen”, but said any long-term plan for education had to start “with a strategic plan, and then you have to work out the money that’s needed”.
“Let’s start by thinking about what it is we want our education across the piste to achieve,” he said.
Jules White, a headteacher who leads the Worthless school funding campaign, called for a £6 billion increase – £2.7 billion to reverse real-terms cuts, £2 billion for high needs pupils and £1.3 billion to fully implement the government’s new national funding curricula.
Only yesterday, a report by the Department of Education’s teacher workload advisory group revealed the pressure teachers face in wasting time producing data on their pupils, with the recording, monitoring and analyzing of data being demanded by multiple sources, including local and central government, Ofsted school inspectors and multiple tiers of school management.
In some cases teachers are expected to report on up to 30 different elements of data for 30 children in a class, which the report described as an attempt to provide “spurious precision” in tracking pupil attainment.Prof Becky Allen of the UCL Institute of Education, who pioneered the advisory group said the collection of data by schools has led to unsustainable workload and stress for many teachers. The good news is that the Department of Education has responded well to the advise.
The department has committed to funding of £7.7 million for a Curriculum Fund which will include pilots on how classroom teachers use high quality curriculum programmes to help cut unnecessary workload. The department of education says more than £860 million is going into measures for 2018/19 to widen access to university and further education colleges for students from disadvantaged backgrounds; more than double what was being spent in 2009.
Secondary schools need all the support they can get to prepare students for the higher new standard of education. It prepares them better for further education in University, but British Universities have also recently suffered criticism for failing to prepare students adequately for the work place.
Only recently, a report indicated that Universities were giving too many high degree qualifications in what suggested easy marking or too predictable exam questions that don’t properly reflect the actual standards of many graduates. Redbrick Universities will probably dispute this since there are different tiers of Universities in Britain, as with most countries.
Mps also recently stated that Universities are not giving students value for money and need to better prepare them for the workplace. They warned that Institutions needed to recruit more school-leavers from poor backgrounds and offer more flexibility than the traditional three-year degree, according to a report from the Commons education select committee. The report also highlighted the issue of high vice-chancellors’ pay, something most of us thought had been addressed a long time ago.