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A Year in School Funding Headlines


As we campaign for a better future for our schools, it can sometimes feel like nobody is really listening. So at the start of this new year, we took a step back to look at just how much the education funding crisis had featured in the news in 2018.


It turned out the answer was: a lot. Every single month of the year included significant media coverage of the funding issues currently facing our schools. Below we highlight just a few of the headlines. Let's make sure we keep schools in the spotlight in 2019.

January

Schools collect millions in donations as state funds stagnate

Channel 4 News-5 Jan 2018

Schools in England could be raising around £150m a year from voluntary donations, research by Channel 4 News suggests.

Headteachers appeal to MPs over school funding formula

West Sussex County Times-10 Jan 2018

Headteachers have called on MPs to echo West Sussex County Council and declare the government’s school funding formula “not fit for purpose”.

Is social mobility really about school cash?

BBC News-16 Jan 2018

Head teachers in the Worth Less? campaign over school funding shortages say that if the government is serious about promoting social mobility in education, then it needs to look at how low funding seems to mirror low mobility.

Exclusive: Unfunded pay rises spell 'catastrophe' for schools

TES News-18 Jan 2018

In December the National Joint Council, which determines wages for support staff in many state-funded schools, set out its pay offer for the next two years.

Heads warn of 'chronic' funding shortages

BBC News-29 Jan 2018

Head teachers from 5,500 schools across England have signed a joint letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond warning of "chronic" funding shortages.

Creative subjects being squeezed, schools tell BBC

BBC News-29 Jan 2018

However, schools told the BBC that the increased emphasis on core academic subjects, together with funding pressures, were the most common reasons for cutting back on resources for creative subjects.

Fed-up headteachers bill government for £316m to highlight school cash shortfall

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press-30 Jan 2018

Headteacher associations from 32 counties have urged the government to make school funding across the country fairer as part of the Worth Less? campaign.

February


Exclusive: National school funding formula threatened as councils demand changes

TES News-6 Feb 2018

Local authorities have lodged more than 200 appeals with the Department for Education for permission to move away from the national school funding formula next year...

Secondary schools lose 15000 staff due to funding cuts, unions warn

The Independent-7 Feb 2018

Funding cuts have led to 15,000 secondary school staff in England being dropped as pupil numbers continue to rise, the unions have warned.

Almost half of headteachers find it difficult to commission mental health services for pupils

The Independent-8 Feb 2018

Schools need to have access to “dedicated funding, support and training to be able to source, commission and evaluate services effectively”...

Suffolk could be set for £11.5million reduction in school budget for next two years

East Anglian Daily Times-13 Feb 2018

Suffolk schools could be hit with an £11.5million funding decrease over the next two years, according to latest estimates from education unions.

Dramatic U-turn on school funding plan in Flintshire

LeaderLive-21 Feb 2018

The authority was ready to set a 'cash flat' budget for the county's schools as it juggled its own budget for 2018/19. But a campaign from headteachers, school staff and parents in the last few weeks against what they felt amounted to a three per cent to five per cent cut with inflation has prompted a re-think.

Future of academisation in doubt, spending watchdog warns

TES News-21 Feb 2018

Heads' leader warns that struggling schools are being 'left in limbo' by delays converting them into academies

March

Class sizes rising in majority of secondary schools 'due to underfunding'

TES News-7 Mar 2018

Class sizes are rising in the majority of secondary schools in England as a result of the government’s underfunding of education, according to unions.

Exclusive: Support for SEND pupils threatened as DfE rejects funding requests

TES News-8 Mar 2018

Schools could be stripped of cash to support pupils with serious physical and mental disabilities, after government officials blocked councils from boosting their "high needs" budgets.

ASCL: Funding pressures force grammar schools to consider expansion

Schools Week-9 Mar 2018

Funding pressures are forcing grammar school headteachers to consider increasing their pupil numbers to reach “economies of scale”, the Association of School and College Leaders has warned.

Education Secretary forced to admit that he wrongly claimed school spending is going up

The Independent-14 Mar 2018

The official statistics watchdog rapped Damian Hinds, pointing out that funding is frozen – and that he was also wrong to claim that every school will enjoy “a small cash increase”.

Number of secondary schools in deficit has 'trebled'

BBC News-15 Mar 2018

The number of state secondary schools falling into deficit in England has almost trebled in the last four years to more than a quarter, research says.

Emotional headteacher warns of 'dire consequences' of funding crisis in England's schools

ITV News-16 Mar 2018

The headteacher of a school forced to cut teaching hours has told ITV News of her fears that the funding crisis in England's schools will have "dire consequences" for the nation's children.

One in three headteachers cuts back on staff due to school funding pressures

The Independent-21 Mar 2018

More than a third of headteachers have had to cut back on teachers due to a squeeze on funding, a survey from a school leaders' union suggests.

I Sense The Tide Is Turning On School Funding - But Education Needs Money Now

HuffPost UK-23 Mar 2018

A promise of “jam tomorrow” will not cut it with the profession, parents and voters who that know any further delay will be devastating

One in five teachers say their school has asked parents for money amid funding pressures

The Independent-30 Mar 2018

One in five teachers have said their school has been forced to ask parents for financial contributions to help with funding, a new survey has found.

April


Leaked email reveals council to cut funding for children with special educational needs

Liverpool Echo-6 Apr 2018

The email informs teachers that from April 1, the council will cease to fund resources required for children who need extra support because of special needs, disabilities or behavioural problems.

School support staff 'feeling the brunt' of funding cuts

Schools Week-8 Apr 2018

School support staff are being forced to work unpaid overtime as a result of increasing workload and dwindling staffing levels, a new survey has found.

Parents prepare to march for fairer school funding

Worthing Herald-11 Apr 2018

There are ten days to go until parents take to the streets of Worthing to march for fairer funding for their children's schools.

MPs launch inquiry into school funding

TES News-19 Apr 2018

MPs have launched an inquiry into school funding in England. The investigation will examine whether the government should have a 10-year plan for schools and colleges, instead of the current system of three-year spending reviews.

Parents to take school funding message to West Sussex's streets

Spirit FM-20 Apr 2018

Parents calling for fairer funding for West Sussex's schools are set to take their message to the streets of Worthing on Saturday.

Hundreds march for better school funding

Worthing Herald-23 Apr 2018

More than 500 people have marched through the streets of Worthing to appeal to the government for fairer funding for West Sussex schools. The march, organised by the campaign group SOS West Sussex, saw parents, children, supporters and teachers meet at Steyne Gardens on Saturday (April 21) before they made their way through the town centre to the seafront.

Tory grandee challenges Damian Hinds over school funding

TES News-25 Apr 2018

Education secretary Damian Hinds has been confronted in Parliament by a senior member of his own party, who demanded urgent action over the fact that schools "simply don't have enough" money.

May

Damian Hinds acknowledges funding pressures on schools

BBC - 4 May 2018

The education secretary has recognised the extent of funding pressures in England's schools after hearing warnings of a "financial crisis".

Government to give £50m to expand grammar schools despite concerns over funding crisis

The Independent - 10 May 2018

'The grammar school corpse has climbed out of its coffin once again despite evidence of the damage that selective education causes'

Grammar school pupils 'gain no social or emotional advantages' by age 14

The Guardian - 22 May 2018

Critics say UCL research calls into question government’s plans to expand selective state education

June


61 councils top-slicing school budgets

TES - 13 June 2018

MP highlights the impact of axing the £600m Education Services Grant, which paid for a range of school support services

Maidenhead school asks parents to buy toilet roll

BBC - 15 June 2018

A school in Theresa May's constituency has sent a list to parents of things it says need buying to keep it running - including toilet paper.

Damian Hinds resolutely silent on school funding

Schools Week - 27 June 2018

The education secretary Damian Hinds has clashed with MPs on school funding, after he refused to say how much extra cash he is fighting for.

July

Council leaders unite to press for more school funding in West Sussex

Chichester Observer - 5 July 2018

More money for schools needs to be made available by the Government as in West Sussex headteachers are being forced to make staffing reductions, according to council leaders.

School spending on pupils cut by 8%, says IFS

BBC - 12 July 2018

The amount of per pupil spending in England's schools has fallen by 8% since 2010, says an analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Headteachers blame funding cuts as schools expel 40 pupils each day

The Independent - 19 July 2018

'It is more difficult to provide early intervention and prevent behavioural problems'

August

Heads concerned after ‘lifeline’ school improvement funding cut

Schools Week - 2 August 2018

A “lifeline” government scheme that issued school improvement grants has closed, with £85 million from its coffers left unspent.

Exclusive: ‘Heartbreak’ for schools with no cash for pay rise

TES - 8 August 2018

Schools that can't afford teacher pay rise having to consider cuts, despite DfE assurance on funding

DfE tells schools: 'Raise more of your own money'

TES - 31 August 2018

Strategy says schools raise £1.3 billion a year – but income generation ‘varies a great deal between schools’

September


Spielman: 'No evidence' cuts are harming education

TES - 7 September 2018

Chief inspector's comments prompt union to call for the abolition of Ofsted because it is 'not doing the right job'

Sixth form and FE funding has fallen by a fifth since 2010, says IFS

The Guardian - 17 September 2018

Spending on post-16 colleges cut ‘much more sharply’ than for primaries and secondaries

Head teachers' polite protest over funding in England

BBC - 28 September 2018

"Relentlessly reasonable" is an unusual rally cry - but this was no ordinary demonstration.

October

School funding: Is the government spending record amounts?

BBC - 8 October 2018

Serious concerns have been raised over the Department for Education misrepresenting statistics to make England's schools' performance and funding appear better than they are.

Schoolchildren around Sussex floss in aid of fairer school funding

The Worthing Herald - 19 October 2018

Local schoolchildren, their parents, grandparents and teachers are taking part in #Floss4Funding today (Friday, October 19) as part of a national day of action for fair school funding.

38,000 sign petition for SEND funding reform

TES - 23 October 2018

Campaign comes as MPs hear concerns that funding pressures are leading schools to exclude children with SEND

November


BBC film crew documents England's school funding crisis

BBC - 2 November 2018

Six-part series School lays bare the funding crisis affecting schools across the country

The problem with Hammond’s ‘little extras’ budget pledge

Schools Week - 3 November 2018

The chancellor’s £400 million capital “bonus” for schools to buy “little extras” could end up with brand-new schools being handed as much cash as those where the “roof is falling in”.

5 reasons the school funding crisis will continue

TES News - 6 November 2018

MPs hear concerns about the national funding formula, minimum funding guaranteed for schools and the pupil premium

One in three MPs do not believe schools are in funding crisis, despite repeated warnings over austerity

The Independent - 29 November 2018

'This is a crisis. This isn't a blip. This isn't a little problem'

December

Why is Ofsted silent on the school funding crisis?

Schools Week - 4 December 2018

If Ofsted is happy to rely on anecdotal evidence for off-rolling and school readiness, why does it refuse to speak out on the school funding crisis, the impacts of which are clear as day, asks Paul Whiteman

SEND funding crisis 'close to risking school safety'

TES - 7 December 2018

Warning comes as school leaders gather for crisis summit on lack of money for pupils with special needs


Christmas tree baubles carry wishes for more school funding from Worthing pupils

Worthing Herald - 21 December 2018

Hundreds of children from across Worthing have written Christmas wishes to Government ministers asking for extra school funding for the new year.

What a year. Here's to more awareness-raising in 2019!

#lobbying #schoolcuts

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