Friday 28th September saw around 2,000 school headteachers, from England, Wales and Ireland, march on Downing Street. In light of further funding cuts to the education sector, for the protesters “there is no alternative.”
At the moment, ministers claim that schools are receiving “more money than ever before” but this begs the question, why would thousands of headteachers be protesting against budget cuts and the lack of funding their school is receiving? Organised by a group called Worth Less?, whose aim is to tackle the issue of growing class sizes, axing of school subjects and the use of Pupil Premium Funds, of which are extra funds set aside to support the most vulnerable students. Kelly Head, of Springfield Infants School, said:
“It’s truly heartbreaking, because the decisions we are beginning to have to make are about reducing social care and mental health support”
Schools across the UK are facing significant pressures with changes to exams, difficulties recruiting and retaining staff and with Brexit looming, unsustainable funding cuts are the cherry on top of the cake. Yet, the Department of Education (DfE) claim that “there is more money going into schools than ever before, rising to a record £43.5 billion by 2020.” Is it likely that these resources are being wasted? Quite possibly for some schools, but is this the case for every school? Budgets have been “squeezed by unfunded pay rises, national insurance payments and rising numbers of students”, so it’s no wonder that headteachers are finally cracking. According to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), school leaders are anxious about maintaining high standards in the face of so many issues.
Budget cuts and decreased funding is leading UK schools to drastic action, where some have recently announced that they will be finishing school at lunchtime on Fridays. Understandably, this caused outrage amongst parents of these schools as they could lose out on money, having to cut their working day in half. Headteacher Dawn White Tracey Lawrence spoke to The Telegraph and said:
“Our prime concern is to provide your child with quality first teaching, to enable them to achieve their full potential”
The DfE spoke out explaining that “every school attracts more funding per pupil through the National Funding Formula…the 3.5% pay rise we announced for classroom teachers…is backed by £508 million Government funding.” We’ve all been to school, we know the importance of learning. So why are we letting the sector struggle when, once upon a time, we were students ourselves?
At myAko, we are all about people and we have an aim of revolutionising the education industry. It’s important for our teachers and our schools to be supported, because they provide such an essential service to us all at one stage in our lives. Our future workforce are the children of the UK right now and so, if schools are better supported, they will be better able to deliver high quality training and teaching. With more great business minds, an efficient flow of money within the UK and an increased GDP, the UK will experience a booming economy once again. At myAko, we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed, and that’s why we want to support teachers and educators, to achieve greatness again. myAko strives to make life simpler, developing the tool to give you back time in your day to focus on the important stuff.