1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Are you fed-up by the constant downplaying of the school funding crisis?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    A £14 billion shortfall in any budget is certainly something to worry about unless of course you are talking about education. When politicians and civil servants are quizzed about the ongoing funding crisis blighting the education system the response to the problem is nothing more than a whisper before the issue is swept under the carpet until the next time they are quizzed about the unfortunate blip in a school’s financial records. It may be the British way to downplay a crisis and ride out the storm stoically, but schools need to see more action to try to resolve the issue. As Bernard Trafford explains, the effects of the huge funding gaps are wide-ranging and too important to ignore that it would be remiss not to shout about the lack of money in education that is preventing so many children from receiving the education they deserve:

    ‘…The Times reported that councils were “siphoning off” (I quote the term pejoratively while acknowledging that it’s done in desperation) £400 million of precious money from schools in order to fund special-needs support.

    Some 354,000 children have bespoke education and health care plans (EHCPs), the successor to statements of special educational needs. These require schools and local authorities to provide individually tailored support: for example, 15 hours per week of one-to-one, in-class support from a teaching assistant. All in the system would agree that such targeted aid is essential, if the child is to be able to gain access to the curriculum and thrive in mainstream school.

    Schools don’t always cover themselves in glory in this area. SEN training for teachers remains insufficient, to be sure. But, above all, there isn’t the money in the system. There’s growing evidence that even those legally required hours of support frequently aren’t provided.

    Attempting miracles with inadequate resources, headteachers are understandably resentful.‘

    Dr Bernard Trafford is a writer, educationalist, musician and former independent school headteacher.


    What are your views about the issue?
  2. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

    As a TA in a mainstream secondary, I can confirm that there is no such thing as one-to-one support any more and there hasn't been for some time. There are not enough TAs to cover the sheer number of EHCP students. In my school, from the beginning of September we have reduced from seven tutor groups per year (11-16) to six and mixed ability now too. Also, to ensure the EHCP students do have some access to TA support, all ECHP students plus the other most needy students have been placed in one side out of the two sides of each year group. The result is classes of up to three or four EHCP students plus several other needy students on the SEND register.
    Suffice to say, the TAs are incredibly busy in these classes and are frustrated that we cannot give the students the time and support they need. A broken system!

Share This Page