More funding for educational resources in secondary schools
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'The future of the world is in my classroom today' - Ivan Welton Fitzwater.
In recent years, the already circumstantially low budget for education has been reduced by £2.8 billion, resulting in lesser monetary provision for essential school items such as textbooks, revision guides and stationary. These cuts have proved their prominence amongst secondary schools all over England and with the introduction of the new 9-1 GCSE system (2017+), revision sources have been scarce in many schools and many parents have had to take it upon themselves to provide such revision items for their children as old specification models are much less applicable now due to this change in curriculum. With growing emphasis and reliance on GCSE grades to enter university and higher paid jobs, the cuts in resources to help students attain these qualifications is a rising concern amongst teachers and the youth alike.
Since 2016, upwards of 15,000 secondary school teachers have said to have lost their jobs, drastically increasing the reliance upon lesser qualified teaching assistants, teaching only from the lack of detailed textbooks provided to them. This redundancy figure is up 30% from 2009 and shows no evidence of slowing down. The annual budget of £86 billion set in the Autumn Statement (for education pre. 16) doesn't only have to cover books and stationary, it set to cover construction, heating and electricity bills, provisional resources for those with learning difficulties, special needs and physically disabled children AND external sources show a large part of teachers wages also come out of this. With 8.2 million children of school age, the decline in funding is going to have drastic effects on the quality of education provided to these students. 76% of schools in the last year have reported general, rather large cuts, 73% saying these have been in equipment and 41% reported cuts in special needs provisions. It is predicted, the average secondary school will face losses of around £291,000 by September 2019 with primary schools also losing around £74,000.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said school budgets were at breaking point. 'School leaders have made every other possible efficiency and now it is impossible for many schools to avoid making redundancies, to continue to keep class sizes at an acceptable level, and to offer a full and rounded curriculum to all pupils,' he said.
It is approximated that 50% of state schools now frequently ask for money from parents to help provide educational resources with 1 in 6 having to ask directly for even minor schools supplies such as pencil crayons and gluesticks. In a recent ATL survey in Liverpool, 93% of teachers Trade Union members reported being 'pessimistic about school funding,' too.
Regardless of personal opinion about the successes of the British schooling system, there is no denying that funding is on the decrease as the population is on the increase and that many schools are stuck in a constant struggle to provide the best education to young people feasibly possible. If you feel strongly about this cause, please do sign and show your support towards this cause. I hope this inspires you to write to your local MP, spread the word or even just broaden your knowledge surrounding this matter. As a Y11 student caught in the middle of these reductions, struggling to find any resources to help me achieve the GCSEs that have been so heavily emphasised towards me, I thank you very much for reading.
(Some possible links you may wish to follow. Additionally, you can search 'school budget cuts' into Google for extra information).
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