Numbers game Schools facing battle to make teaching levels add up
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