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Two-thirds of secondary school head teachers have had to cut teaching staff to save money

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School staff cuts a ‘tragedy’

Research published today (18 Apr) by educational charity Sutton Trust has revealed that 69% of secondary school heads have had to cut teaching staff to save money.

Further findings include 32% of senior leaders in primary schools said they’d had to cut teachers and that 27% of secondary school headteachers have used pupil premium funding to plug gaps elsewhere in their budget.

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

 “The schools funding emergency is having a disastrous impact on teacher numbers and on the life chances of our poorest pupils.

“Liberal Democrats are proud of the pupil premium because it gave schools millions of pounds to support students who would otherwise be left behind. It is a tragedy that the Conservatives have put schools in the situation of relying on the pupil premium just to make ends meet.

“Schools are struggling to provide a full curriculum or keep schools open on a Friday afternoon as they cannot pay the staff.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. Liberal Democrats would bring an end to the schools funding emergency, investing over £2 billion a year extra in schools to reverse the cuts since 2015.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

“There is more money going into our schools than ever before, and since 2017, we have given every local authority more money for every 5 to 16 year old in every school and made funding fairer across the country. There are more teachers in our schools than in 2010 and the number of teaching assistants has increased by a fifth between 2011 and 2017.

“We recognise the budgeting challenges schools face and have introduced a wide range of practical support to help schools and head teachers, to help schools make the most of every pound on non-staff costs. We have also provided schools with funding for additional pressures – such as an extra £940 million to cover increased pension costs for 2019/20 so state-funded schools and colleges can focus their resources on providing the best education.

“The Secretary of State has made clear that as we approach the next spending review, he will back head teachers to have the resources they need to deliver a world class education.

“We have protected the core schools budget overall in real terms since 2010, and put an additional £1.3 bn into core schools funding across 2018-19 and 2019-20, over and above plans set out at the last Spending Review. 

“Figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that real terms per pupil funding for five to sixteen year olds in 2020 will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000.”

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