• SOSWestSussex

Funding Cuts Take Hold In Worthing Schools

Protest banner that reads: More Schools No War 6 Hours Missile Strikes Can Pay For 20 Teachers' 1 Year Salary

Nearly nine in ten Worthing schools have cut staff in the last year as a result of the funding crisis.

A survey of local headteachers found that 87% have made cuts to directly employed staff over the last 12 months with half reducing the number of teachers, nearly 90% losing special needs support staff and 70% cutting teaching assistants.

All said they have reduced the money spent on school equipment and more than half have held off carrying out work needed on school buildings in a bid to balance the books.

Parents & teachers plugging the funding gap

Asking for contributions from Parent Teacher Associations (PTA), requesting additional funding from parents and paying for materials themselves are all ways headteachers are attempting to plug the funding gap.

At the same time

  • more than 50% have been forced to cut outside support for music and theatre activities

  • a third have cut sports provision

  • nearly half have reduced extra support for children with additional needs such as speech therapy

The headteachers are also seeing the impact in the classroom with nearly three quarters reporting that there is less support for children with individual needs and more than a third have reduced staff training.

Poor school funding will have long-term impact on wellbeing

Longer term, all believe that inadequate funding will impact on the wellbeing of both teachers and students with the majority agreeing it will result in lower levels of achievement, more problems with behaviour and make it harder to recruit staff.

We made this infographic, called “Catalogue of Cuts”, from the headteachers' responses and it shows the stark reality of just how the funding crisis is affecting schools across Worthing.

Chris Keating, headteacher at Davison C of E High School for Girls, said: “These statistics lay bare the reality of the funding crisis in our local schools. Teachers and support staff are doing everything they can to maintain the high standards of education our students receive but this is simply not sustainable unless we get the injection of funding so desperately needed.”

Sarah Maynard from the SOS Campaign team, said: “We carried out this survey to hear first-hand from local headteachers about the reality of the funding challenges they are facing and the impact it’s having right here, right now.

“All schools are facing rising costs to cover salaries, national insurance contributions and rising inflation levels but the funding they receive is just not keeping pace. They are being forced to cut staff, find alternative ways of funding school activities and reducing what is offered to students, which will mean they don’t get the experiences and start in life that they deserve.

“Of particular concern is the impact this is having on children that require extra support and the knock-on effect this has on the rest of the class when schools just don’t have enough staff or resources to meet their needs.

“It clearly shows that the political rhetoric we are hearing is a long way short of the reality of day-to-day life in the average classroom, and that our children are losing out. We need the government to act and urgently look again at the funding our local schools receive.”

West Sussex schools get less

Schools in West Sussex are facing nearly a £9million deficit in funding as a result of rising costs and inflation levels. In 2018, West Sussex pupils will receive £423 million. This is £263 million less than children attending school in Hackney.

Find out more

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