Budget shake-up could put 43 teaching jobs at risk

Schools in the Whitby area are facing over £1.5 million being slashed from their budgets with up to 43 teaching jobs under threat, according to a new report.

Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:36 am
Updated Saturday, 25th March 2017, 10:49 am
Schools in the Whitby area could lose 43 teachers, according to new research calculating the impact of budgets on our schools.

The proposed new national funding formula, being introduced from 2018 to 2019, announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening in December, is expected to mean 10,000 schools will gain funds in order to close the gap between different geographical areas.

But the teachers’ unions’ analysis, based on information for 19,719 schools published as part of the national funding formula consultation, indicates 98% of schools will face cuts in per-pupil funding - with schools in North Yorkshire facing an average reduction of £379 per pupil.

An alarming £1.5 million may be cut from the budgets of schools in Whitby and the surrounding villages if things do not change. According to the predictions, the worst to be affected would be Caedmon College, with the statistics revealing they could lose £766,001 in funding by 2019/20, a loss of almost £1,000 per pupil, with 19 teachers also facing the axe.

Principle Keith Prytherch said: “It’s a huge concern, there just isn’t enough funding to go round. Schools are already under an enormous amount of pressure, I think funding should be increased to raise aspiration and attainment. It would be a huge hit for us, if staff jobs were at risk the curriculum would suffer.”

The college presently employs 65 teachers for its 1,000 pupils.

Eskdale school could also face a funding loss of £169,577, with 5 teaching jobs under pressure.

Headteacher, Sue Whelan said that any funding cuts are concerning, but stressed that no teaching jobs are at risk: “I think there are concerns for any school and all schools are facing pressure on budgets.

“Historically North Yorkshire hasn’t done as well for funding per pupil as places like London. I think that’s a concern for any headteacher - no head wants a loss of funding in their schools.”

She added that Eskdale will be increasing the number of students at the school by around 200 in the coming years and they hope to recruit more teachers.

The school has around 300 students with 25 teachers at present.

Parents from the area’s schools have now been responding to the Department of Education’s consultation, which closed this week.

Whitby MP Robert Goodwill had a meeting on Friday with around 20 borough primary school headteachers to discuss how the changes will affect each school.

Mr Goodwill said: “We had a meeting where headteachers raised their concerns about education funding. I have written to Justine Greening and I am sure she will be interested to hear what the public say about education. One concern was regarding schools feeling they cannot support children with special education needs if budgets were to be cut.

“This would impact on their education as well as others in the class.

“The feeling is that the cuts will affect the larger primary schools in the borough. The government still has a big deficit to address despite reducing it considerably.”

The Education Policy Institute claims the average secondary school will lose almost £300,000 each, while primary schools could lose out on more than £70,000.

The National Union of Teachers says the government claim they will protect school budgets but what this means is a freeze on funding at present levels while cost pressures go up due to rises in inflation, the apprenticeship levy, introduction of the National Living wage, increased employer national insurance and pension contributions.