Education cuts lead to nearly 80 redundancies at Camden’s schools in a year
Schools funding levels described as a 'crisis'
09 April, 2019 — By Helen Chapman
Education chief Angela Mason
SLASHED schools funding has led to 78 redundancies across Camden’s primaries and secondaries in a year, it has been revealed.
Schools began restructuring amid warnings that performance and results would suffer as government money shrank. The situation was this week described as being at “crisis” levels with fewer teachers taking larger classes and fewer support staff available for vulnerable children.
Camden’s education chief Councillor Angela Mason said: “We estimate that Camden schools have already suffered in real terms a reduction in their spending power of 16 per cent. Last year there were 78 redundancies in our maintained schools, costing nearly a million.”
She added: “To try and help schools we have introduced a short-term licensed deficit scheme which allows primaries to overspend by £50k and secondaries £75k over a two-year period with an agreed plan to get back into balance over that period.”
Schools affected by holes in their finance are understood to be torn about being too public about the difficulties they face against the concern that parents of prospective pupils may be deterred from enrolling their children.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said last year that, between 2009-10 and 2017-18, school spending per pupil in England fell by about 8 per cent. Schools say they are left short, but the government insists it is putting in more money than ever. Camden’s school budget is around £129m a year, and could be reduced by around 10 per cent if the current downward trend in funding continues.
Gerald Clark, Camden secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Virtually all headteachers in the borough signed a letter last year to the secretary of state for education asking for more funding. I believe all headteachers are united on the issue on needing funding in schools.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “While there is more money going into our schools than ever before we know schools face budgeting challenges, which is why we have introduced a wide range of support to help schools reduce costs and get the best value from their resources – from a free-to-use vacancy service to cut the costs of recruiting teachers, to advisers who are providing expert help and support to individual schools that need it.”