As the recession is going on longer than predicted how are schools coping with the financial strain.
In April 2011, England faced an unexpected budget cut of £155m in a move that provoked fury from councils who feared it will disproportionately hit the poorest parts of the country.
With the financial down turn in full swing, this unexpected budget cut came at a surprise for everyone. There was no word of this huge cut which occurred in March 2011, so the councils went on to allocate money they presumed they had to schools. The change was outlined in a letter 10 days before the end of the financial year, causing mayhem and panic amongst schools and councils.
The cut has effected school pupils in a BIG way:
•Help for children struggling with English and Maths is being cut back
•Art and music teachers are losing their jobs first, as these are not seen to be core subjects.
•Career advisers are having their hours reduced, children aged 15-16 are being pointed in the direction of websites for help and advice.
•Less to spend on materials:One of the first things to go with budget cuts is the already small discretionary fund that teachers get at the beginning of the year. In many schools this fund is almost entirely used to pay for photocopies and paper throughout the year. Other ways that teachers might spend this money is on classroom posters, and other learning tools. However, as budget cuts increase more and more of this is either provided by the teachers and their students.
•Cuts in Technology Purchases: With less money, schools often cut their school-wide technology and material budgets. Teachers and media specialists who have researched and asked for specific products or items will find that these will not be available for their use. While this might not seem to be as big an issues as some of the other items on this list, it is just one more symptom of a wider problem. The individuals who suffer most from this are the students who are not able to benefit from the purchase
With the lack of funding, and children's needs losing priority in the governments eyes, there is a fear that children will not have anyone to turn to when making career decisions, and in turn, dropping out of education all together.
One-to-one tuition for students struggling with the key, vital subjects such as maths and English has had to be cut right back due to the budget cut. Researchers have found the tuition accelerates pupils' progress and gives them confidence. But in April 2011, funds for one-to-ones tuition stopped being allocated and many schools have diverted the funds elsewhere.
Despite the tough budget cuts, schools are still recognising the needs of their pupils and although cuts have been made in controversial ways, the school technology industry is showing a steady increase. Although for some schools, top of the range equipment maybe off the cards for now, others are still striving to get the best they can for their pupils.