Over two-thirds (69%) of secondary school heads have had to cut teaching staff to save money, according to new polling published by the Sutton Trust.
The survey of 1,678 teachers, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) for the Trust as part of their Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey, highlights how budget cuts are affecting schools across the country. The key findings of the report include:
69% of secondary senior leaders have reported having to make cuts to teaching staff for financial reasons, along with 70% for teaching assistants and 72% for support staff. 72% of primary school heads also report cutting teacher assistants.
One in four (27%) secondary school leaders report that their pupil premium funding is being used to plug gaps elsewhere in their budget. For those who do report it plugging gaps, most indicate it being used on teachers and teaching assistants, or absorbed into the general school funds.
Just over half (55%) of school leaders feel that their pupil premium funding is helping to close attainment gaps in their school. Primary leaders (57%) are more likely than secondary (50%) to say so.
The full findings of the report are available here.
Governing boards have a major responsibility in holding school leaders to account for the spending of pupil premium and, in particular, for its impact. All pupil premium spending should be ring-fenced, evidence-based and making a measurable impact.