How cuts impact your children - what you told me about Gloucestershire schools
My appeal for you to tell us about the state of schools in Gloucestershire resulted in more than 50 responses from primary, secondary and special schools, as well as parents and professionals.
Here are some of their comments:
Sarah Murphy, District Secretary of Gloucestershire NEU
“I have supported teachers off work due to stress and anxiety, teachers assaulted at work and suffering PTSD.”
“We are no longer at the ‘reduce your photocopying’ stage, the ‘provide your own pens and pencils’ stage in Gloucestershire. We are at the ‘don’t expect a TA but do expect a class size of 35 and certainly don’t expect a pay rise’ stage.” (Read Sarah’s full response here)
Julia Maunder, headteacher Thomas Keble School:
“Inclusive schools like ours have to use 85% of the money intended to support vulnerable children with additional needs, to top up the Per Pupil Funding just to reach the same level as schools with low levels of additional needs.
“This is resulting in a two-tier education system where inclusive schools receive less money for core curriculum provision.”
Village primary school headteacher
“One of the more tragic results of the cuts for our more vulnerable pupils will be the financial disincentive to give these children places.
“In an increasingly 'competitive' climate there will, sadly, be schools actively finding ways to turn these children away so they become someone else's problem.
“Genuinely inclusive schools are penalised both financially and in league tables. It's a sad indicator of the priorities of our government. “
“I find teaching more and more lonely. Footfall of staff is at its lowest due to part-time staff cuts and specialist teacher visits are non-existent nowadays.”
Parent of two primary-school children
“How can a school in London receive a third more per pupil than a school in Gloucestershire? Is it true that some city schools provide one tablet per pupil and fund swimming lessons? Such ideas are alien to our rural schools.”
Ex teacher, psychologist and parent
“Shocked at deterioration in provision. Schools report having to delay children being seen by LA educational psychologists until problems are more serious and entrenched, as schools have to pay to see the EP.”
Teaching assistant and parent in a village school
“TAs who are contracted to provide one-to-one support for a child with special needs are instead providing whole-class support, or even covering teacher absence, because school can’t afford supply teachers so children miss out on the support they need.”
“We currently have a paper shortage in our school as A4 paper is now deemed too expensive to waste. We have to use our ‘class allocation’ of paper and then remove the last sheet.”
Parent of SEND child
“My son's SEND school has had to increase class sizes. They currently have a leaking roof. The class prefer to stay in the leaky classroom (these are SEND children who dislike change) and there are no other suitable areas available for them.”
Village primary headteacher
“The regular meeting with our finance officer is becoming more and more concerning. There is a rise in costs for staffing through inflation and reductions in High Needs support mean, for us, having another £6k less per SEND pupil. It doesn’t sound a lot but when you are a small school it is.
“Restrictions on educational resources, including trips which rely on voluntary contributions, restrictions on any school premises improvements, restrictions on CPD.”