Schools in funding crisis with huge cuts and increasing costs
PUBLISHED: 06:55 11 April 2019
Education leaders are warning of the huge crisis facing schools in North Somerset due funding cuts.
Between 2015 and 2019, schools in the area have lost out on a total of £17.3million in funding – which equates to £256 per pupil.
Leaders of multi-academy trusts (MAT) have said the situation is ‘critical’ with schools facing huge cuts in services and increasing costs.
Simon Marriott, chief executive of the Kaleidoscope MAT which covers Ashcombe, Hutton, Worle, Becket, Christ Church and St Martin’s primary schools, said: “Schools are facing real-term cuts and huge pressures to make their budgets balance.
“This becomes even more challenging over the next few years as schools try to plan for the long term.
“Schools are facing increasing costs, such as higher employer contributions, wages and additional charges like the Apprentice Levy.
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“At the same time, there have been huge cuts in services that our families and children should have access to and often relied on, including funding for SEND (special educational and additional needs) pupils.
“The numbers of children who require additional or specialist support has significantly increased and this puts an additional and serious strain on school budgets where we are trying to support these children and families – as well as delivering high quality teaching and learning.
“The impact of this is that schools are having to make difficult decisions about the future and reduce spending in areas such as resources (including staffing levels) and the services, support and experiences we are able to offer with this reduced capacity.”
The amount of top-up funding schools are given to support SEND pupils has been cut this year.
Adam Matthews, chief executive of ELAN multi-academy trust, says the cost of the reduction will result in a loss of around £350,000 in funding for the eight schools in the trust which include Bournville, Locking, Oldmixon, Mead Vale, Mendip Green Milton Park, Walliscote and Windwhistle.
He said: “It’s going to have a huge impact on schools, particularly those who have the most pupils with additional needs.
“It takes even more money away from school budgets and all schools are now working to the point of hand-to-mouth with not much spare cash, if any.
“The financial situation is critical.”