Num­bers game Schools fac­ing bat­tle to make teach­ing lev­els add up

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By PHILLIP THOMP­SON & CLAIRE MILLER

THE num­ber of teach­ers in the county is drop­ping dra­mat­i­cally with a num­ber of schools see­ing in­creas­ing class sizes.

And new fig­ures re­veal Glouces­ter­shire schools are miss­ing out on £1,019 per pupil com­pared to 2010 fund­ing lev­els.

Seventy two schools in the county recorded a de­crease in teach­ing staff num­bers and more than a fifth of schools are record­ing their high­est pupil-to-teacher ra­tio.

Anal­y­sis of the school work­force cen­sus from 2010 has re­vealed 26 per cent of schools in Glouces­ter­shire have seen their num­ber of teach­ers drop.

In ad­di­tion, in 25 schools the teacher head count is at its low­est lev­els since records be­gan and the pupil-to-teacher ra­tio is at its high­est.

Up­lands Com­mu­nity Pri­mary School in Stroud saw the num­ber of teach­ers fall from 10 in 2010 to seven in 2017 as the pupil to teacher ra­tio rose from 16.8 to 19.4

In Cheltenham, Pate’s Gram­mar School has seen the teacher head­count drop from 91 in 2010 to 75 in 2017.

Den­mark Road High School in Glouces­ter has seen teacher num­bers drop 24 per cent from 68 to 52 with the pupil to teacher ra­tio in­creas­ing from 15.4 to 19.8.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est De­part­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion fig­ures, the planned av­er­age spend per pupil for this school year is £4,162 – less than the av­er­age spend of £4,563 in 2011/12 with­out ad­just­ing for in­fla­tion.

Ad­justed for in­fla­tion, the 2011/12 bud­get would be worth £5,181, mean­ing Glouces­ter­shire schools are miss­ing out on av­er­age £1,019 per pupil.

Stroud’s Labour MP David Drew said: “I’m not sur­prised class sizes are ris­ing and teacher num­bers are fall­ing in Glouces­ter­shire.

“Head­teach­ers across the county all tell me bud­gets are on the brink and that has an af­fect on stress among teach­ers and has led to re­dun­dan­cies.

“The cri­sis in spe­cial needs fund­ing also means money has to be stretched fur­ther and is af­fect­ing pro­vi­sion for all chil­dren.

“I have no doubt that many teach­ers are stressed and dis­il­lu­sioned that they are not able to pro­vide the qual­ity ofe­d­u­ca­tionour chil­dren de­serve.”

A spokesman for the DFE said: “Fig­ures show most class sizes are low.

“In fact, the av­er­age in­fant class size is 27.3, well within the statu­tory limit of 30 pupils per school teacher, and de­spite an in­crease of chil­dren at­tend­ing pri­mary schools, the av­er­age pri­mary class size has seen no change be­tween 2017 and 2018.”

They added: “Since 2017, we have given ev­ery lo­cal author­ity more money for ev­ery pupil in ev­ery school.

“In 2019-20, Glouces­ter­shire is re­ceiv­ing £356.3mil­lion in to­tal, which is an in­crease of 3.1 per cent per pupil, com­pared to its 2017-18 fund­ing lev­els.

“While the core schools and high needs bud­get is ris­ing to £43.5bn by 2019-20, we do recog­nise the bud­get­ing chal­lenges schools face.

“That is why the Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary has set out his de­ter­mi­na­tion to work with the sec­tor to help schools en­sure that ev­ery pound is spent as ef­fec­tively as pos­si­ble to give chil­dren a great­e­d­u­ca­tion.”

The spokesper­son added that school stan­dards ‘are still ris­ing.’

The Joint Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Union, Dr Mary Bousted, said: “It is shock­ing that in one of the rich­est coun­tries in the world we have many head­teach­ers who can­not af­ford to re­cruit the teach­ers and sup­port staff needed for their school.

“A chronic shortage of fund­ing is also lead­ing to big­ger class sizes, par­ents reg­u­larly be­ing asked for money, sub­jects be­ing dropped from the cur­ricu­lum, books and re­sources not be­ing re­placed and school trips can­celled.

“This un­ac­cept­able run­ning down of oure­d­u­ca­tion­sys­tem has to stop.

“Gov­ern­ment must en­sure our school have the fund­ing and re­sources to en­sure ev­ery child has the ed­u­ca­tion they de­serve.”

Across Eng­land, a to­tal of 4,891 schools have seen the num­ber of teach­ers fall.

There were 2,639 schools, or the equiv­a­lent of one in eight na­tion­ally, record­ing their low­est num­ber of teach­ers on record.

Labour’s Shadow Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary, Angela Rayner, said: “The Tories have slashed school bud­gets for the first time in a gen­er­a­tion and their poli­cies have seen teach­ers’ pay cut by thou­sands of pounds, and now a gen­er­a­tion of chil­dren are pay­ing the price for Tory fail­ure in our schools.

“The fact that so many schools are see­ing teacher num­bers fall is a di­rect re­sult of the fail­ure of this gov­ern­ment to give our schools and teach­ers the re­sources and sup­port they need.”

SATS re­sults from 2018 re­vealed that pri­mary schools in Glouces­ter­shire were un­der­per­form­ing when com­pared na­tion­ally.

The na­tional av­er­age in Eng­land sees 64 per cent of pupils meet­ing the ex­pected stan­dard, com­pared to 63 per cent of school pupils in our county.

How­ever, al­though there were 93 schools in Glouces­ter­shire which did not meet the na­tional av­er­age, this is a re­duc­tion in 2017.

Sec­ondary schools in Glouces­ter­shire are out­per­form­ing other schools na­tion­ally – scor­ing 0.02 points bet­ter than the English av­er­age based on Progress 8 re­sults.

Anal­y­sis of the Dfe’s GCSE re­sults re­port re­veals 47.3 per cent achieved grade 5 or above in English and maths, above the English av­er­age of 43.3 per cent. [email protected]­plc.com

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