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Dear Clare - complicated question

Discussion in 'Governors' started by mystery10, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yep that's exactly right. They have written out explaining how they will restructure the class sizes but their plan to do that was the year after a class size of mid-40s (for which no classroom is big enough) would already have occurred. They then said they'd do it a year earlier if necessary to avoid that problem. But it would require an extra room which they really don't have as the place is already full to busting(!), and so far as I can tell it could be problematic could to provide one either at all, or on time. That's what's bothering me. I'm just hoping it will all work out OK but I have at the back of my mind that if it doesn't get clearer within the next few months I'm going to have to explore other options as it's impossible to jump ship at the last minute.
     
  2. grrmummy

    grrmummy New commenter

    [​IMG]
    Hope it all works out for you - you know where your priorities lie as a parent (I have been there too)
     
  3. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Do they have a hall? The school I described had 1 classroom and a hall. Infants were in the classroom, juniors in the hall. When we needed the hall for pe we rearranged the furniture and swapped classrooms. We ate in the hall/ junior classroom. If they have a hall they'll probably use that. I've also known school's expand temporarily into village halls and even a disused corner shop once.
     
  4. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    You make some really helpful points. However, it will cost more per head, I think. The model on which they ran before was 105 children in 4 classes, average of 26.25 children per teacher .
    They are now aiming ultimately at 140 children in 6 classes, average of 23.3 children per teacher. They don't have permission yet to do this long term but in the lower part of the school the higher numbers are already moving on through and this is what is causing me a concern for the future.
    Maybe I'm wrong though on my calculations - would be great if you could enlighten me:
    Looking at extra income versus extra costs, this would be an increase of 35 children, and an increase of 2 extra teachers and the extra costs of maintaining 2 extra classrooms (one of which needs to be built).
    How many children normally pays for an extra teacher - would 35 extra children fund 2 extra teachers including oncosts etc (it's a VA school so I assume the gov body stands all employment cost in full). If 17.5 extra children would fund an extra teacher, why do schools usually try and run at 30 children per class?
    I don't know why the school is short of funds currently - I only see the evidence in what we asked to contribute to as parents, and shortage of resources for reading, the photocopier, art, numeracy, not all the teachers are employed completely full-time etc. In part I think it might be due to the fact that the awkward numbers moving through now have already necessitated an increase in staff numbers and the way they are currently splitting the classes is costly. I think there might be some sick pay - supply cost issues too, I can only guess.
     
  5. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I could make all sorts of speculations but that's what they would be. It depends on the authority , the awpn, the age of the pupils, the local authority funding forumula a d a whole number of other factors.
    Pupils are worth a different amount of money according to their age. The local authority give the school their budget, not the governors, all costs (including staffing)come from the budget so the GB spend it as they see fit. It may be that not all teachers are full time for various reasons, the staffing costs vary depending on age and experience. There are so many variables that my speculations would not be helpful really.
    17.5 extra children would fund an extra teacher (without the in costs) but not all the additional equipment and resources required. Even something as simple as more children = more water and toilet rolls used, there things have to be considered. More pupils =more pencils, more pupils = increased insurance costs, more pupils = more wear And tear on carpets, chairs, tables.That's why schools have larger classes. There are too many variables for me to be able to help to clarify your particular situation.
     
  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yes, that makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for thinking about it. But this is why it seems unlikely that the "new model" with fewer children per teacher is more financially viable than the "original" model with more children per teacher. There are too many unknowns to work out the exact difference, but it seems illogical to conclude that it would be. I think the maths has gone wrong somewhere .........!! Or maybe there is some other reason behind the desire to expand which it is not appropriate to tell parents.
     
  7. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    It may well be. We could speculate all day.
    There is an optimum number of pupils per class in terms of VFM but this will be different in every school. Too many variables at play. Even within authorities funding formulas differ so it would be foolish to speculate.
    The bottom line is the school does not have to consult parents in order to do this, but they may well offer you more information nearer the time. I would be surprised if the governing body didn't have a range of "what if?" scenarios already prepared.
     
  8. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Well yes, I too would have assumed that they had a big set of what-if's covered, and that they would not have admitted the bigger numbers without the knowledge that they could accommodate the bulge as it moves through the school. However, I have good reason to believe that is not the case. And then when they sent out two letters that did not make sense numbers-wise (both pupil numbers and financial numbers-wise) and failed to cover the biggest what if, that's when I started to worry for real. The second letter did correct the first letter, but it then contained another error ........ I'm talking big errors in thinking and assumptions. I can't explain without it being too identifiable if someone reads this from the same school.
    But hopefully as you say they really do have a set of plans that will cover the bulge years adequately, with and without money for a significant extension. As a parent I would be happier with a set of what-if's, but maybe some wouldn't and they are scared that talking about it in any shape or form will be offputting to current and future parents.

     

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