Senior teachers answering anonymous survey hit out at Portsmouth schools’ funding
SENIOR teachers responding anonymously to a survey have said they are being forced to make support staff redundant and fork out for basic equipment out of their own pocket.
Not one head teacher who responded to Portsmouth South MP’s Stephen Morgan’s survey said they were satisfied with the current level of funding.
Six head teachers – out of the 13 quizzed – were dissatisfied and six were very dissatisfied.
Of the 13 schools surveyed, seven said they had cut teaching assistant numbers since 2015 and almost half said they were aware of staff spending their own money to provide resources.
One unnamed teacher said: ‘This is the worst funding per pupil in my lifetime. It is likely I will need bigger classes taught by fewer teachers.’
Special Educational Needs and Disability budgets have also been axed.
Five head teachers said they had been forced to cut staff working in the area with more than half saying they cut Send provision.
Meanwhile, 10 respondents said they would have to make further Send cuts in the next two years.
One head teacher said: ‘We have more Send children entering the system with complex needs – yet our Send budget has been cut.’
Eight head teachers said they had already made cuts in the supply of books and equipment, with the same number admitting they would make further reductions in the next two years.
Labour MP Mr Morgan said: ‘The fact that 100 per cent of respondents said they have made cuts in multiple areas since 2015 is concerning
‘Budgets have been slashed by £7.7bn in real terms since 2011.’
A spokesman for the Department for Education insisted more cash has been put into the system.
He said: ‘The education secretary has secured an extra £400m of capital funding for schools from the treasury.
‘School funding in England is at its highest ever level, rising from almost £41bn in 2017-18 to £43.5bn by 2019-20.’
But one teacher in the survey said: ‘What they don’t say is that more money than ever is coming back out through national insurance and pensions.’